Tommy Pontbriand

2021 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research recipient

Picture of Tommy Pontbriand

Master’s student
University of Manitoba

Tommy was first introduced to Arctic marine research during his undergraduate studies in Biology at Université Laval. While working for the late Dr. Louis Fortier, a pioneer in scientific research in the Arctic and conducting field work on the CCGS Amundsen in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Tommy immediately fell in love with this remote, unknown, vast and sometimes harsh environment that still has so much to teach us. After graduating, he jumped right into his graduate studies at the University
of Manitoba, where he currently studies the diet and foraging behaviour of bowhead whales in the eastern Canadian Arctic, which hold a subsistence and cultural importance for Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic. After surviving the intense commercial whaling era, slowly recovering populations of bowhead whales now face the threats of climate change, which may alter their ability to thrive in Arctic waters. With his work, Tommy hopes to help assess the potential of bowhead whales to cope with changes in prey associated with climate change.

Learn more about the Weston Family Awards in Northern Research.

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