ORCA’s new Science Officer

ORCA’s new Science Officer

We are delighted to welcome a new member to the ORCA Team!

This week, we welcome Katie Welsh to the team here in ORCA HQ in Portsmouth. Katie will be taking over from James Robbins as ORCA’s Science Officer. 

Katie recently finished a masters research degree at the University of Plymouth, where she was analyzing acoustic data to map sperm whale occurrence off the west coast of Scotland. She studied her undergraduate degree in marine biology at Southampton and used ORCA’s data to investigate the effects of shipping noise on whale and dolphin’s distribution in the English Channel. She has previously worked in some incredible places to research cetaceans, including Hawaii, Canada and Cardigan Bay in Wales. We’re excited to welcome her to the team to analyse our long-term datasets to conserve marine mammal populations. On joining the ORCA Team Katie says:

After following and admiring the work of ORCA for many years, it is an honor to join the wonderful team and fantastic volunteers who dedicate their time to partake in surveys. I feel very privileged to join ORCA and help to further protect and conserve the whales and dolphins in our waters. I am greatly looking forward to analyzing the data to help better understand these majestic animals and to help support ORCA’S vision to keep the oceans alive with whales and dolphins!

As we welcome Katie to the team, it’s also time to say a very fond farewell to James! James has been ORCA’s Science Officer for nearly two years and is off to start a PhD at the University of Portsmouth. We are delighted that as part of his PhD, researching the threat of ship strike to large whales, ORCA’s research will be used to help progress knowledge about occurrence, behavioral impact, areas of risk and mitigation. The PhD will be supervised by Dr Sarah Marley, Professor Alex Ford and ORCA’s Lucy Babey. We wish James the best of luck and thank him for all his hard work – you will be missed!