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Jerry Kooyman – Professor emeritus

Various positions at Scripps Institution of Oceanography since 1967 to present


Educational background

            AB UCLA - zoology

            PhD U. of Arizona – zoology

            Post-doctorate NSF FELLOW with Professor Sir Richard Harrison- London         Hospital Medical School



            Land based to Ross Sea; Antarctic peninsula; Galapagos, Papua, South Africa,  Peru, Philippines. The studies included: Weddell seals, several species of    penguin (mostly emperor penguins), fur seals, elephant seals, leatherback sea   turtles, whale sharks


Tourist Cruises

            Cruise-Travel expedition – Antarctic and South Georgia-2006 with Wilderness      Travel as a guest lecturer on the cruise ship Bremen

            Cruise-Travel on The World – 2016 Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia with   

            EYOS as a guest lecturer


His PhD study was on the Weddell seal in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica where he obtained the first depth and time records from a diving animal. He continued with extended studies on Weddell seals for many years and advised several graduate students during this time, including Jessica Meir (currently an astronaut on the ISS from September 2019 to April 2020. He also conducted the first diving studies on king and emperor penguins, and continues his work on emperor penguins with the most recent expedition in late summer 2013 on the Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer.


He has made numerous science cruises aboard the RV Alpha Helix, RV Hero and the Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. He has also participated in many land based projects to the Ross Sea, Antarctic Peninsula, Galapagos Islands, South Africa and Peru to study penguins, seals, fur seals, leatherback sea turtles and whale sharks.


Fellow of the Explorers Club and he received the 2007 Quadrennial Finne Ronne award. Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sigma Xi

American Physiological Society

American Polar Society

Kooyman Peak, Queen Elizabeth Range, Antarctica, 1966

Within Antarctica Kooyman Peak is named after him for his scientific work on the Weddell seal.


Author of three books: Weddell Seal, consummate diver; Cambridge University Press, 1981;

Diverse Divers, Behavior and Physiology, Springer Verlag, 1989;

Penguins; The Animal Answer Guide, with Wayne Lynch, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013



Highlights –

1986 – traverse across Terra Nova Bay and establishment of the first remote camp on sea ice of an emperor penguin colony.

1986 – The first time depth records of foraging in emperor penguins

1993 – aerial search and re-discovery of the Cape Colbeck emperor penguin colony that had been visited only once in 1962.

1995 – visited all 7 emperor penguin colonies of the Ross Sea in a single season.

1990 – dived through a penguin hole to join emperor penguins foraging at the ice edge of McMurdo Sound.

1993 – drove by snowmobile to Cape Crozier to visit the emperor penguin colony with my two sons and Galen Rowell.

1998 – a winter cruise on the Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer to the face of the Ross Ice Shelf. The first time and last a ship has been there in winter.

1999 – Cruise to the eastern Ross Sea on the Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer to assess for the first time the molt area of emperor penguins of the Ross Sea, and Ross Seals of the Pacific sector of the southern ocean.

2013 – reaching the Cape Colbeck emperor penguin colony in mid-March on the Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer to attach satellite tags to emperor penguins for tracking through the austral winter.

1994 – flight over the southpole in a KC-10 tanker while doing a mid-winter survey of emperor penguin colonies.

gk emp colony5739.jpg
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