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Alexander Burdin, PhD, Project Co-Director, is research fellow in the Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography, and vice-rector of Vyatskaya Agricultural Academy. He has worked on marine mammals in the Russian Far East since 1979. Since 1995, he has worked on a joint Russian-US project for the study of the Sea of Okhotsk population of gray whales off Sakhalin and bowheads in the Shanter Islands region (collaborating with Robert Brownell and Bernd Wursig).
Erich Hoyt, Project Co-Director, is a WDCS Senior Research Fellow and a member of IUCN Species Survival Comission / Cetacean Specialist Group. He worked with orcas in British Columbia beginning in the 1970s (as told in his book Orca: The Whale Called Killer) and has written numerous papers and reports on marine conservation and whale watching worldwide. Some of his other books are Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, Whale Rescue, Seasons of the Whale, Creatures of the Deep, The Earth Dwellers, and Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises (with M. Carwardine, P. Gill and E. Fordyce). A Canadian-American, he now lives in Scotland.
Olga Filatova: PhD, is research associate at the in the Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, working on orca sound recording and analysis. Since 2000, she works in the project. Her scientific interests extend to acoustic communication in mammals. She provides the scientific supervision in Commander’s expedition of the project.
Tatyana Ivkovich: is a PhD student of the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersbourg State University. Since 2002, she works in the project. She leads our photoidentification program and studies social structure and demography of killer whales. Her scientific interests include social behavior and population structure of mammals.
Ivan Fedutin: is research assistant in the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. Since 2002, he works in the project. His scientific interests include behaviour and communication in cetaceans. Since 2007, he coordinates field work. He works as a boat-driver, provides technical support for research, analyzes the acoustic recordings, and engaged photoidentification of Baird’s beaked whales in Commander Islands.
Mikhail Nagailik: PhD, graduated from the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. He analysed the acoustic behaviour of killer whales and studied the spatial structure of fish-eating killer whales populations of the eastern Kamchatka. In 2007-2014, he also worked as a boat-driver in Avacha expedition of the project.
Mikhail Guzeev: is a PhD student in the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburg State University. He studies structure and functions of the stereotype calls in fish-eating orcas of Avacha Gulf. Since 2008, he works in Avacha expedition of the project.
Ekaterina Borisova: is a student in the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. She engaged in genetic analysis of killer whales populations of Far East Russia. In 2010-2014, she worked in Avacha expedition of the project.
Olga Titova: graduated from Timiryazev Academy, participates in Commander expedition doing photoidentification of humpback whales.
Evgenya Volkova: student of the department of vertebrate zoology of St. Peterburgh University. Participated in Avacha Gulf expedition in 2013-2014, worked in acoustic boat and took photos of the whales. Scientific interests: hunting behaviour and food preferences of killer whales.
Anastasya Danishevskaya: student of the department of vertebrate zoology of Moscow State University studying acoustic behaviour of killer whales. Participated in Avacha Gulf expedition in 2014.
Anastasia Shabalina: is a PhD student in the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. In 2008, she participated in gray whale expedition in Sakhalin Island. In 2009-2011, she worked in Avacha and Commander’s expedition of the project. She engaged in photoidentification of Commander’s orcas.
Hal Sato: Principal Investigator in 1999-2005, initiated photo-ID studies of minke and Bryde´s whales in Japan, as well as photo-ID work and whale watch education in Nemuro Strait (northeast Hokkaido Island near Japanese-Russian frontier). She has six summers´ orca research experience doing mainly land-based acoustic pod/sub pod recognition and acoustic tracking of pod movements in British Columbia. She has helped to research, promote and support whale watching in Japan - writing, editing and translating many materials into Japanese.
Nikolay Pavlov: the commercial director of "Vostok Tur" company, in the past - the director of the Commander Nature Reserve. He worked for the project as a boat driver in 2000-2002.
Eugenia Lazareva: was a PhD student (2006-2009) in the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. For her bachelor’s degree she investigated echolocation of beluga whales in the White Sea. Since 2005, she works in the project. She was engaged the analysis of echolocation in killer whales, and humpback whale photo-identification.
Alexandr Volkov: was a PhD student in the Eastern State University. He analysed the abundance of killer whales in Avacha Gulf by mark-recapture method, and took part in the project on humpback whales near Commander Islands. In 2003, 2006-2008, he worked in Avacha expedition of the project, in 2009 and 2011, in Commander’s expedition.
Carina Tarasyan: PhD, in 2000-2005 she investigated orca ecology and analyzed the behavior patterns of orcas in the central Avacha Gulf area, and also took part in the project on humpback whales near Commander Islands. Her scientific interests include ecology and behavior of cetaceans.
Ekatherina Jikia: PhD in genetic. Her scientific interests focus on the behavior and the genetic structure of marine mammal populations. In 2001, 2002, 2004, and in 2005, she worked in FEROP.
Sam DuFresne: experienced marine mammal researcher from New Zealand. PhD in Otago University (behaviour of Hector’s dolphin). He participated in FEROP in 2004 as a volunteer boat driver.
Sergey Dyadechkin: PhD in astrophysics. Volunteered in the project in 2004 as a land observer.
Pavel Samolkin: is a student of the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburg State University. In 2004, he worked as a notetaker.
Tatyana Ermishkina: is a student in the Faculty of Biology, Saratov State University. In 2010, she participated in beluga whale expedition in the White Sea. She studies the acoustic behavior of fish-eating killer whales. In 2011, she worked in Commander’s expedition of the project.
Andrei Prudkovsky: PhD, research associate in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. In 2011, he worked in Commander’s expedition of the project. He provided plankton survey, analyzed the species and size composition of the plankton samples to determine the likely prey of humpback whales in the waters of Commander Islands.
Anton Biatov: is a biologist, graduated from the Kharkov State University. He is Director of Recreation and Promoting in the national park "Gomolshanskie Lesa", Ukraine. In 2011 and 2014, he worked in Avacha expedition of the project.
Maria Goncharova (Shevchenko): in 2011 she graduated the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. She engaged in photoidentification of humpback whales. In 2009-2010, she worked in Commander’s expedition of the project.
Ilya Shevchenko: is research assistant in the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO). Before 2006 he worked in the Kamchatka Branch of Pacific Institute of Geography. He studied sea otters on the Comander Islands and took part in the project on bowhead whales in the Shantarskye Islands. In 2003, 2005 and 2006, he coordinated field work and also worked as a boat-driver. In 2009-2010, he worked in Avacha and Commander’s expedition of the project.
Ilya Murashev: is research associate in the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve, an ornithologist. In 2011, he worked in Commander’s expedition as a volunteer.
Carina Carenina: is a PhD student in the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburg State University. Her scientific interests extend asymmetry in behaviour during the interaction of females and offspring in mammals. In 2011, she worked in Avacha expedition of the project.
Andrei Gilev: is a PhD student in the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburg State University. In 2011, he worked in Avacha expedition of project.
Egor Aksyonov: is a student in the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburg State University. In 2007-2010, he worked in Avacha expedition of project.
Alexander Goskov: is a student in the Faculty of Biology, Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg). In 2009-2010, he worked in Commander’s expedition.
Alexei Yakunin: is a student oceanologist in the Southern Federal University (Rostov-on-Don). In 2010, he worked in Commander’s expedition.
Alexei Chubar: is a student oceanologist in the Southern Federal University (Rostov-on-Don). In 2010, he worked in Commander’s expedition.
Vadim Galkin: is a student oceanologist in the Southern Federal University (Rostov-on-Don). In 2009, he worked in Avacha expedition of project.
Natalia Krushanova: artist from Sakhalin Island. In 2009, she worked in Commander’s expedition of project as volunteer.
Julia Zakharova: is a student in the Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology. In 2007, she worked in Avacha expedition of project.
Evgeny Dergachev: is a graduate student in the Far-Eastern State University. In 2004, and in 2006, he worked in the land-observer’s team.
Vladimir Konoplev: is a student from St. Petersburg, who was interested in orcas from his childhood. In 2006, he worked as a volunteer in the land-observer’s team.
Mikhail Kislin: is a student in the Faculty of Biology, St. Petersburgh State University. In 2006, he worked in the land-observer’s team.
Gaetan Richard: MSc student in the University of Lion, participated in Commander expedition in 2013, then analysed humpback whale genetic samples as an internship in the University of Brest.
Alexandr Semenov: MSc at the department of ichtiology and gidrobiology of St. Petersburg University. Participated in Avacha Gulf expedition in 2012.
Alexandr Kuzmin: volunteer from St. Petersburg. Assisted in the photo-boat in 2012-2013.


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