Bornin Barsinghausen, Germany, Bernd Gerhard Würsig is an educator and researcher who works mainly on aspects of behavior and behavioral ecology of whales and dolphins. Much of his early work was done in close collaboration with his wife, Melany Ann Würsig, and they have published numerous manuscripts and two books together.
Most of Würsig’s research, while focused generally on social, sexual, calf rearing, and foraging strategies, has been related to human use of the marine environment, as well as tucuxi and boto dolphins of the Amazon and the now believed to be extinct baiji of the Yangtze River. He may be the only researcher to have worked with both the baiji and the presently highly endangered vaquita, or Gulf of California harbor porpoise of the northern Gulf of California, Mexico.
Besides working with river dolphins in Peru and China, Würsig has worked with oceanic whales in Argentina, far east Russia, and the Arctic; and a host of delphinids from the Bahamas to Patagonia Argentina, from north-central California to Hong Kong and South Island New Zealand. Much of his work has been collaborative, and he has published with students and colleagues on issues of multi-species interactions among pinnipeds and cetaceans, marine mammals and marine birds, and noise pollution and mitigative effects. His present work is with Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong, dusky dolphins on the South Island of New Zealand, and western gray whales of far east Russia, all collaboratively with graduate students.
Bernd has published about 150 peer review papers and six books. Recent books are “The Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals” (with Bill Perrin and Hans Thewissen, 2009), and “Dusky Dolphins; Master Acrobats off Different Shores” (with Melany Würsig, 2010), both Academic/Elsevier. He and Melany enjoy their gardens in New Zealand, the Arizona desert, and coastal south Texas.
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