Shades of Grey: Uncovering the Hidden Complexities of the Lives of Harbour Porpoise

Join the Vancouver Aquarium for an insightful presentation on the behaviour of harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena. Harbour porpoise are small cetaceans that are quite common along the coast of British Columbia, yet very little is known about their behaviour.


Dr. Anna Hall will present an overview of the known behaviours of harbour porpoise based on observations and documentation that spans from the mid-1800’s to the present day. She will also present some of the latest findings from research on the foraging and breeding behaviours of harbour porpoise in British Columbia. She will finish her talk with a discussion on the conservation status of harbour porpoise, threats and actions to be taken to protect this highly intelligent but largely overlooked species.

Anna Hall received her PhD from the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia in 2011, for investigations into the biophysical relationships between harbour porpoise behaviour and habitat selection, with local oceanography and lunar events. Dr. Hall has spent 20 years researching the harbour porpoise of British Columbia and has also worked on seasonal abundance, diet, behaviour and incidental catch. She has also participated in a variety of marine mammal studies in British Columbia, Alaska, Washington and Mexico – including being on the most recent expedition to find the highly endangered Vaquita. Dr. Hall’s current work is focused on addressing data gaps related to a variety of marine mammal species in northern British Columbia.