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A Bunch of Minke Enthusiasts

Ursula Tscherter, project director

Ursula joined ORES in 1993 when she encountered a whale for the first time in her life. Committed to the project ever since, she has contributed greatly to the development of the organization and has drawn international attention to ORES . In 1997 Ursula became the director of the ORES Foundation in Switzerland, From 1995 to 2002 she assisted Ned Lynas in the field and became the director of ORES Canada in 2002 supervising the research and course program. In 1995, she developed the DEM (Dorsal Edge Mark) identification system still used today.

Since her first encounter with a whale Ursula has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge. Knowledge she loves to share. Anywhere in the world Ursula speaks about Minkes, her inner fire has ignited  her audiences.

In memory of Ned, she continues ORES with the same passion, dedication and love for the whales which he shared with her over the many wonderful years they worked together.


Maja Weilenmann

Maja was 17 years old  when she heard the songs of humpback whales for the very first time and since then she has been attracted to cetaceans. She studied Zoology at the University of Zurich, finishing her MSc in February 2001. In the same year she joined ORES for a 6 week scholarship to learn more about these fascinating animals and the methods of marine mammal research. After 8 years of obtaining skills and methods in other research fields (biodiversity experiments in grasslands, moving patterns of leopards in Botswana, behaviour of house mice), she joined ORES again in December 2010 to process and analyse research data.


Chris Morris

Chris first visited the St. Lawrence estuary in 1999 as an ORES course participant. Following this experience he stdied marine biology at the University of Basel. In the summer of 2004 he returned to the St. Lawrence to collect and work on data for his master thesis titled “Multi-scale temporal and spatial distribution of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Canada: general patterns and individual habitat use from 1999 – 2004”. After graduation Chris joined ORES for several seasons. Together with Ursula Tscherter he has published several posters presented at conferences of the European Cetacean Society. Today, Chris studies grey seals at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.  He also processes and analyses ORES research data.