Hailing from Cobh in the south of Ireland, Conor Ryan grew up on the shores of Cork Harbour, where his fascination with the sea led him to study zoology at University College Cork. He continued his studies in marine biology in Galway, where he studied baleen whales for his doctoral thesis. His research also brought him to Cape Verde in search of the breeding grounds of humpback whales. With more than 30 published scientific papers, Conor is a renowned expert in baleen whales and small cetaceans. He left his academic path behind to work for non-government organizations, where he applies scientific knowledge to the conservation and management of marine mammals. He is a scientific advisor for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and a research associate on the vessel Song of the Whale. When not aboard National Geographic-Lindblad vessels, Conor regularly conducts field-based whale research from the tropics to the Arctic. He enjoys island life in the Hebrides in western Scotland, where he lives on the remote Isle of Mull. Throughout 2018, he is serving as a Year of the Bird Ambassador.
Year of the Bird Ambassador, Naturalist