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Meet the Expedition Team

Dr. Ingrid Visser, Marine Biologist & Whale Researcher

Dr. Ingrid Visser

Dr. Ingrid Visser was born in 1966 in Wellington to Dutch immigrant parents. Ingrid's love affair with the sea began very early -- the family sailed around the world on a 57 foot yacht (steel ketch), and lived on the boat for four and half years, covering 52 thousand nautical miles.

Arriving back to New Zealand, Ingrid trained at Massey University as a vet before transferring departments and completed her first degree in Zoology. She started her Masters at Massey, and then transferred to Auckland to complete the degree in Marine Biology. She then did 8 years for her PhD on Orcas (also known as killer whales) in New Zealand.

She is totally obsessed with Orcas, and has worked with the New Zealand Orcas for over ten years. The Orcas Project was founded by Ingrid in 1992, the first research project dedicated to Orcas in the South Pacific. Originally, research was carried out only in New Zealand waters, however the project is working in association with other researchers to expand into other areas. Adopt an Orca was founded in 1998 by Ingrid, the first whale or dolphin adoption program in Australasia. It was set up to facilitate educating the public about these amazing animals and to help raise funds to promote Orca research. Shortly after she founded the Antarctic Killer Whale Identification Catalogue (AKWIC). AKWIC is the first collaborative photo identification project for Orcas in Antarctic waters. In 2007, Ingrid's semi-autobiographical book, Swimming with Orca came out to excellent reviews around the world.