Our Research Team

Greg Kaufman

Chief Scientist and Founder of Pacific Whale Foundation

Greg Kaufman

Greg Kaufman is the founder and Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation and author of numerous books, scientific and popular publications on cetaceans. A pioneer in non-invasive humpback whale research off Maui in the mid-1970s, Greg founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980, and committed his new organization to educating the public, from a scientific perspective, about whales and their ocean habitat. Greg oversees the longest running humpback whale research programme off Australia (started in 1984) and Ecuador.

Greg is a world leader in addressing whale protection issues, and has pioneered responsible whale- and dolphin-watching programmes throughout the Pacific. He is widely acknowledged as an innovator and leader in marine ecotourism. Greg is an Invited Participant to the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee and is a contributor to the subcommittees on Whale-watching, Southern Hemisphere Whales and Bycatch, serves on the Hawaiian Island Humpback National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee, is a contributing member to the Southern Oceans Research Partnership, recently co-led the United Nations Environmental Programme's Regional Workshop on Marine Mammal Watching in the Wider Caribbean Region, and was the US delegate in a recent international workshop (held in Patagonia) to Develop a Five Year Global Plan for Whale-watching.

Emmanuelle (Manue) Martinez, Ph.D., M.Sc, B.Sc (Hons)

Senior Research Scientist, Australia and Hawaii Program

Emmanuelle (Manue) Martinez

Manue joined the Research team in September 2012. Her main research focus is primarily in the conservation biology and behavioral ecology of cetaceans. Specific interests include evaluating short- and long-term effects of anthropogenic disturbance on marine mammals, in particular tourism. She is leading PWF research in Australia and Maui, Hawai`i.

She completed a Ph.D in Marine Science at Massey University (Auckland, New Zealand) examining the responses of the endangered and endemic South Island Hector’s dolphins to vessel activity, including dolphin-watching trips, in Akaroa Harbour. Manue obtained a M.Sc in Environmental Science from the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) and conducted a pre-disturbance study of Hector’s dolphins prior to the establishment of a dophin-watching operation at Motunau.

She also holds a B.Sc (Honours) in Zoology from the University of Leicester. Manue continues to collaborate with other colleagues working on a variety of species in different countries. She is still affiliated with the Coastal-Marine Research Group at Massey University as an Adjunct Research Associate, where she held a position as Research Associate between 2011 and 2012.

Cristina Paola Castro A., Ph.D., B.A.

Research Director, Ecuador Research Program

Cristina Paola Castro A.

Cristina received her B.A. degree in Biology and Chemistry in the Central University of Ecuador in 1996, and was granted a doctorate in Biology from the Central University of Ecuador in 2001. Her research interests are in management and conservation of marine mammals in Ecuador.

Since 1997 her studies have focused on the breeding grounds of humpback whales in the Machalilla National Park, Ecuador. Cristina has also directed programs of marine mammal environmental education programs, written books on environmental education for indigenous children living in the Ecuadorian jungle and coast.

Jens Currie, M.Sc., B.Sc. (Hons) 

Research Analyst

Jens Currie

Jens is a marine biologist from Nova Scotia, Canada, with a strong passion for data collection and analytic problem solving in the fields of physical oceanography, biology, and ecology. He has completed a B.Sc. Honors and M.Sc. in Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. His interests lie in linking physical observations to observed biological changes and relating this, if appropriate, to anthropogenic factors.

Previously he has worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a physical scientist completing ecosystem based modeling and, after that, as a marine biologist researching community dependence on estuarine ecosystem goods and services in developing regions of South Africa. He has substantial experience in R programming language and its use for the development of oceanographic and ecological model assimilation techniques with emphasis on development, standardization, and sharing of basic functions and packages. He joined Pacific Whale Foundation in February 2013 and is working on surprise encounters with humpback whales, odontocetes, and marine debris studies in Maui leeward waters, as well as developing a citizen science fluke matching website called Match My Whale.

Stephanie Stack, M.Sc., B.Sc.

Research Biologist

Stephanie Currie

Stephanie is a biologist from Newfoundland, Canada who is passionate about ocean conservation. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Environmental Science degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Stephanie has previously studied harp and harbor seals in eastern Canada, traveled to Belize, Central America, to research Antillean manatee and bottlenose dolphin populations, and worked with South African communities on the sustainable use of ocean resources and the need for marine conservation. She joined Pacific Whale Foundation in February 2013 and is working on the surprise encounters with humpback whales, odontocetes, and marine debris studies in Maui leeward waters. She is developing a citizen science fluke matching website called Match My Whale and coordinator of the annual Great Whale Count.

Shannon Easterly, B.Sc.

Data Technician

Shannon Easterly

Shannon first joined Pacific Whale Foundation in 2013 as a research intern and became part of the research staff in May 2014. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Georgia. She has a strong interest in cetacean behavioral ecology and a passion for problem solving in cetacean research.

While at the University of Georgia, she worked with a project that aims to describe the characteristics of bottlenose dolphins in the estuaries of coastal Georgia. Specifically, the project focuses on abundance, distribution, residency, and habitat utilization through boat-based surveys and photo identification.



Pacific Whale Foundation's Research Blogs

We've launched a new blog which replaces our "Notes from the Field" as of June 2014. 




You may use the links below to read our old archived blog entries.




Additional research news and information about the happenings at Pacific Whale Foundation can be found on our Facebook page.


Research Volunteers

The following persons are currently volunteering in the Research Department:

  • Amanda Padilla
  • Dave and Lorraine Holmes
  • Jackie Ellis
  • Athyna Rock
  • Sabrina Fehlmann
  • Delphine Berbigier

Research Interns

  • Reagan Dutton
  • Jessica Bornstein
  • Felipe de Oliveira
  • Fabricio Furni

Research Department Internships Open Year Round

Learn more about how to apply for a Pacific Whale Foundation Research Internship.


Research team members