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Curt Jenner
Display Name
Curt Jenner
About / Bio
Curt was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in the middle of the Canadian prairies and despite not seeing the ocean until age sixteen, he has developed a surprising affinity with the sea. He began his love affair with the marine world while recreational and scientific diving in the chilly waters of British Columbia, Canada while completing his B.Sc.
Curt now focuses his marine interests on whale research in Western Australia (WA) where he and wife, Micheline (IF’10), have conducted research on humpback whales since 1990, mapping their migration patterns for management of human activities. For example, in the last 10 years, the Jenner’s and their colleagues have discovered a feeding ground for a pocket population of pygmy blue whales in a deep ocean trench 30 nautical miles west of Perth, and have been able to influence the Australian Defense Department on usage periods of this area as a result.
Beyond his scientific interests Curt is also an experienced seaman with commercial Master and Engineer qualifications. Operating their own research projects draws on many interests and skills including photography, sailing and boat-building. Being self-reliant in terms of both scientific and vessel logistics has been one of the key factors in the Jenner’s success in conducting whale research in some of the remotest waters of the world.
Curt and Micheline built with their own hands, a 40 foot (12m) sailing catamaran "WhaleSong" between 1993 and 1995 as the floating research base for their group, the Centre for Whale Research. They sailed 30,000 nautical miles in this vessel, tracking WA humpback whale migration paths and patterns and discovered the whales’ breeding/calving ground at Camden Sound.
Four years ago, Curt and Micheline undertook another boat-building exercise, a five month refit project to convert an 80 foot (24m) tuna fishing vessel into a whale research expedition vessel. To date, this vessel, "WhaleSong II", enabled extended offshore exploration of WA waters for documentation of extensive biodiversity habitats.
Their new vessel, also called "Whale Song", is the culmination of all their research experience and boat needs and is capable of global expeditions, including voyages to the Antarctic where their study animals spend the summer months.
Member Type
International Fellow