Dr. Ari Friedlaender is a native of Connecticut, gaining his Bachelor’s degree from Bates College in Maine, his Master’s in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his PhD in Ecology from Duke University.
Ari is currently an Associate Researcher at the Institute for Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Ari’s work focuses on using tag technology to study the underwater behavior of marine mammals around the world. Ari’s research spans the globe, having made over 35 trips to Antarctica over the past 20 years to study the foraging behavior and implications of climate change on humpback and minke whales. Closer to home, Ari works on a number of whale and dolphin species to better understand the impacts of human disturbance, including navy sonar, fishing gear, and pollution. Ari is dedicated to both science and conservation and is actively engaged in a number of projects to promote ocean conservation through a variety of outlets. Ari is a National Geographic Explorer, Ambassador for the Wold Wildlife Fund, US delegate to the International Whaling Commission, on the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research’s Expert Group on Birds and Mammals, on the Conservation Committee for the Society for Marine Mammalogy, on the Scientific Advisory Board for the American Cetacean Society and has been featured in numerous documentary film series from and museum exhibits. Ari has published nearly 100 scientific papers and but is most proud of receiving an environmental hero award from his elementary school in New Haven.
Currently, his work is on display at the Sandt Ocean Hall in the Smithsonian Institute and on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. As an educator, Ari works with several organizations to combine art and science to develop curriculum to share information broadly about marine mammals and conservation. To this end, Ari helped co-found the California Ocean Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to to conducting world-class marine research which leads directly to sound policy decisions that safeguard the oceans and allow marine mammals to thrive into the next century.