Naturalist icon Naturalist

Conor Ryan

For as long as he can remember, Conor has always been preoccupied with the natural world, from the whales to the fungi. For most of his life he has been an islander: growing up in Cobh, Ireland and settling down in Tobermory in the Hebrides, Scotland. When not on Lindblad ships, Conor likes to explore the Hebrides by sea-kayak and search the Atlantic rainforests and shorelines for edible mushrooms and seaweeds.

Conor completed his PhD in Galway on the ecology and population structure of baleen whales in the Celtic Sea and Cape Verde, using stable isotope analysis, molecular genetics and organochlorine contaminants. During this time, he realized that the lab was not his natural habitat, so he now works as a research field scientist, using passive acoustics and line transect surveys to map whale distribution and estimate population sizes. He holds two honorary research fellowships: at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, and on the sailing Research Vessel Song of the Whale.

Conor enjoys writing about whale conservation, historical ecology and animal welfare in science. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He lives for sea-watching: staring at the ocean to see what marvels it bestows.