Celebrating the Social Intelligence and Foraging of the Alaskan Humpback Whale

- Science on Tap is an evening lecture series produced by the Georgia Aquarium and is intended for those 21 years of age or older.
- Advance ticket purchase is required for this event. Tickets go off sale at noon Sunday, December 1. Your RSVP here only serves to let others know of your plans to attend.
- Admission is $14.95 for members, $17.95 for non-members, tax not included. Admission includes a selection of beverages, including beer, wine, soft drinks, and light hors d'oeuvres.
- Purchase member tickets here and non-member tickets here.
- Enter the Oceans Ballroom from Level 1 of the Georgia Aquarium parking deck. 
Celebrating the Social Intelligence and Foraging of the Alaskan Humpback Whale

Fred Sharpe
Alaska Whale Foundation

Humpback whales of the Pacific Coast of North America are unique, compared to other baleen whales. This population is characterized by a variety of remarkable feeding behaviors that include the production of loud, trumpet-like feeding calls that are apparently used to herd schooling fishes such as the Pacific herring. These whales also demonstrate a type of tool use by deploying large bubble nets around fish schools or krill swarms. The prey is then devoured in a spectacular communal lunge as the whales come rocketing up through the center of the bubble net.

About the speaker
Fred Sharpe received his PhD in Animal Behavior from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He has been investigating the social foraging ecology of Alaskan Humpback whales since 1987. His studies have received international recognition; including the Fairfield Award for Innovative Marine Mammal Research, and the Society for Marine Mammalogy Award for Excellence in Scientific Communication.

Fred is also a naturalist in the classical tradition. He is co-author and illustrator of various books including Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands, Birding in the San Juan Islands and Voyaging with the Whales. He serves as a Level Four Disentangler with the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network and is a founding board member and principal investigator of the Alaska Whale Foundation.

Photo: Whales surfacing together with the bubble net also coming to the surface around them (Alaska Whale Foundation).

Join or login to comment.

  • Jane Kelly

    Critter cam and bubblenetting was amazing!

    December 4

  • KathleenMaloney

    Great presentation!! The presenter was knowledgeable and presented well.

    December 4

  • Laura H.

    It was a really interesting discussion, & I loved seeing the live action footage from the Critter Cam! That was a hoot, especially the baby nursing under water.

    December 3

  • Laurie

    Hi Marc, Although this sounds fabulous, it is really hard for me to predict my work schedule during the week. I wish the aquarium didn't require advanced ticket purchase, because if I can go, I would love to. Right now my guess is this Tuesday I will be working late. :(

    November 29

    • Marc Merlin

      I understand, Laurie. For what it's worth, the reason that the Aquarium requires advance ticket purchase is that the event is catered and they need to provide the caterer with a head count a couple of days beforehand. - Marc

      November 29

    • Laurie

      Yes, that makes sense. They need it for planning. Thanks for understanding!

      November 29

  • Toni

    There is a documentary called Black Fish, about whales hope you could find it great piece on whales...check it out

    November 18

    • Marc Merlin

      Toni - I have seen "Black Fish" and I highly recommend it, too. - Marc

      November 18

Our Sponsors

  • Abrupt Media

    Abrupt Media helps businesses increase visibility on the internet

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Starting a Meetup Group is the perfect way to share your interests and spark new friendships

Find your people.

Log in

Not registered with us yet?

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy