Phil Clapham directs research on large whales at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Cornish by birth, he followed a girlfriend to the U.S. in 1980 and somehow never got round to going home. Despite having entered the field of whale biology more or less by accident in 1980, he is now acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on large whales.
Phil has more than a quarter century of experience with cetaceans, and at one time or another has worked with most species of whales in various places worldwide. Prior to his current position, he worked at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, and before that directed a long-term study of individually identified humpback whales at the Center for Coastal Studies in Massachusetts. He is also a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of Natural History). Phil holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland), and has advised several governments and other bodies on whale research and conservation. In his current position, he directs a program of large whale research and advises the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service on science and conservation at levels ranging from local to international.
Phil edits for three scientific journals (Marine Mammal Science, Mammal Review, and the Royal Society's Biology Letters), and is a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission's Scientific Committee. He has published four books and about a hundred peer-reviewed papers on whales and other cetaceans.