Dr. Ian Stirling is world-renowned for his work with polar bears--research that spans more 40 years in the Canadian Arctic. Photo copyright Valerie Abbott.

12/31/2013 9:23:04 PM

Dr. Ian Stirling Honored

Renowned polar bear scientist Dr. Ian Stirling has once again been recognized for his extraordinary achievements. The Society for Marine Mammology presented him with its premier honor, the Kenneth S. Norris Career Achievement Award, at their 20th Biennial Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand earlier this month.

In announcing the award, the Society said that the honor was a fitting acknowledgement of Stirling's exemplary lifetime contribution to science and society through research, teaching, and service in marine mammalogy.

"Ian Stirling's contributions to our understanding of polar bears and their dependence on the sea ice are enormous," said Krista Wright, PBI's executive director. "He is recognized worldwide for his groundbreaking work with polar bears. All of us at PBI join the Society in congratulating him for this well-deserved honor."

A longtime member of PBI's Scientific Advisory Council, Stirling is a research scientist emeritus with Environment Canada and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta.

He has studied polar bears throughout the Canadian Arctic for more than 40 years and has also conducted research on seals. He is best known for his long-term studies of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay, one of the world's most southerly populations. This work was the first to confirm the negative effects of climate warming on polar bears.

His recent book, Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species, is considered the definitive work on the biology of the polar bear.



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