Encounter with the blue whale
Diane Gendron was born near Montreal, Quebec. This biologist has always had a passion for the sea. After working at the Mingan Island research station, Gendron became interested in blue whales. In the mid-80s, she travelled to the Gulf of California in Mexico to study the blue whales of the Pacific. She literally fell in love with the Baja California peninsula.
After receiving a Canada-Mexico study grant, Diane arrived in La Paz to complete her Master’s in biology at CICIMAR (Centro interdisciplinario de Ciencias marinas). She ended up being offered a permanent position at the research centre, to direct marine mammal research projects for Mexico.
Fascinating research projects
Diane Gendron is research project director for about ten students, men and women, at the Master’s and Ph.D. levels. Each year, they go out to sea with Diane and Ciro, captain of the CICIMAR 15, on roughly ten observation trips that last from four to six days each. In winter, the Gulf of California is very rich in food. As a result, blue whales come here to feed and give birth, so this is the ideal time to catch sight of mothers with their calves.
During these research expeditions, Diane and her students gather as much data as they can, data they’ll analyze when they return to the CICIMAR marine biology centre. Research topics vary greatly. Some examples are studying blue whale migration, assessing contamination levels in marine mammals, and improving the method for measuring these gigantic animals.