Polar Scientist in the Spotlight

Learn about all sorts of careers that polar scientists have as we explore their different research areas through the featured Polar Scientist of the Month.

Logan Pallin

PhD student, Marine Mammal Institute, University of California - Santa Cruz

What do you do?

I am currently studying the population demographics of Western Antarctic Peninsula Humpback whales using remote biopsy techniques and in order to understand how climate change may affect this population overtime.


What is the best thing about your job?

I think two of the best parts of my job are being able to work in an amazing environment with some of the top scientists in my field and then taking what I learn while doing my work and disseminating that knowledge to the public, especially the K-12 age group, in both an exciting and informative manner.

What is the most important tool you use for research?

While in the field, it is our biopsy cross bow which allows me to collect a small piece of skin and blubber from the whale. These biopsy samples allow us to ascertain specifics about an individual such as sex, pregnancy status, and genetic make up, adding to our list of demographics that we know about an individual and collectively as a population.

Why is what you do important?

The work we do is important because the whales that we are working on are vital to help maintain the marine ecosystem’s function and health. Because of this, by studying how climate change will affect these whales, we will gain further insights into how climate change will affect the Antarctic marine ecosystem as a whole. This will ultimately become important in order to make effective and informative future decisions about conservation and management.

Polar ICE