Posted on: April 28, 2011

Making Waves Lecture Series Presents:
 Free talk and Slideshow: Orca Whales of the Pacific Thursday, May 19


Orca (killer) whales are top-level predators in the Pacific Ocean. They  have been sighted in Hawaii. Pacific Whale Foundation's Senior Scientist Dr. Daniela Maldini will share her insights about orca whales during a talk and slide show from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Pacific Whale Foundation's Discovery Center, downstairs at the Ma'alaea Harbor Shops. The talk is free and open to the public. 
Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are one of the most widely distributed cetacean species in the world. Their density is much greater in cooler waters than in tropical regions. You'll learn about transient, resident and offshore orca whales and their widely differing diets. And you'll get the answer to the question that many in Hawaii ask at this time of year: do they hunt humpback whales?
Daniela Maldini was born and raised in Italy, and spent her childhood swimming around the Mediterranean sea, which cultivated her deep interest in the marine environment. She came to the US in 1988 and has a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Pavia, Italy, an MS degree in Marine Sciences from San Jose State University/Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She also completed a teaching Post-Doc through the Center for International Educational Exchange at the Bonaire Marine Research Station in Kralendjik, Netherland Antilles.
She spent five years in Alaska studying transient killer whales and their interactions with Steller sea lions as a Research Associate at the Alaska SeaLife Center. She also joined the first killer whale expedition in the Russian Far East to unveil the mysteries of this poorly studied part of the ocean.  
Recently, she directed the Research Program for Earthwatch Institute which allowed her to collaborate with scientists worldwide in exciting conservation based program that involved the participation of volunteers. As part of her job at Earthwatch she visited many beautiful places and interacted with bright and interesting people. Her work has also included ongoing studies of  California coastal bottlenose dolphins since 1989 and sea otters since 1994 in Monterey Bay.
Pacific Whale Foundation's Making Waves Lecture Series is offered on the third Thursday of each month, and features speakers and films relating to the marine environment and conservation. To learn more, visit the events calendar at