NEOMED Researcher Travels Afar to Study Whales

Twice a year, Hans Thewissen, Ph.D., Ingalls Brown Chair of Anatomy, journeys 3,240 miles away from campus. Visiting Utqiaġvik (formerly called Barrow), Alaska affords the NEOMED researcher an extremely rare opportunity to obtain and examine the brain, eye and ear of the fresh bowhead whale.

A recent article in The Atlantic magazine describes the symbiotic relationship between the Inupiat people native to the area and scientists like Dr. Thewissen, who aligns his expeditions with the indigenous people’s biannual whale hunts for subsistence. While Dr. Thewissen does not participate in the hunts, they are key to his specialized study. 

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