Ian Stirling (biologist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ian Stirling

Born (1941-09-26) September 26, 1941 (age 81)
Alma mater
Known forPolar bears
SpouseStella[citation needed]
Children3[citation needed]
Scientific career
ThesisPopulation ecology of the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli) in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica (1968)
Doctoral advisorBernard Stonehouse
Other academic advisorsJames F. Bendell

Ian Grote Stirling OC FRSC (born September 26, 1941) is a research scientist emeritus with Environment and Climate Change Canada and an adjunct professor in the University of Alberta Department of Biological Sciences.[1] His research has focused mostly on Arctic and Antarctic zoology and ecology, and he is one of the world's top authorities on polar bears.[2] Stirling has written five books and more than 150 articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has written and spoken extensively about the danger posed to polar bears by global warming.

Early life and education[edit]

Ian Stirling was born to Andrew and Margaret Stirling on September 26, 1941.[citation needed] He completed his B.Sc. at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1963, and his M.Sc. in zoology at UBC in 1965. For his M.Sc. thesis, Stirling studied captive blue grouse under James F. Bendell.[3] Stirling obtained his Ph.D. in 1968.[4]


From 1970 to 2007, Stirling served as a research scientist for the Canadian Wildlife Service, focusing his research on polar bears, most notably on a long-term study of polar bears in western Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba. He was among the first to draw attention to the potential impacts of climate change on polar bears.[5] Stirling retired in 2007.

Stirling has served as a member of the Committee of Scientific Advisors of the Marine Mammal Commission, and he was the first Canadian to be elected president of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.[6] He is a long-standing member of the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group and currently acts as a scientific advisor to Polar Bears International.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Stirling I (1997) The importance of polynyas, ice edges, and leads to marine mammals and birds. Journal of Marine Systems 10, 9–21.
  • Stirling I, Lunn NJ, Iacozza J (1999) Long-term trends in the population ecology of polar bears in western Hudson Bay in relation to climatic change. Arctic 52, 294–306.
  • Stirling I, Parkinson CL (2006) Possible effects of climate warming on selected populations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic. Arctic 59, 261–275.
  • Stirling, I (2011) Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. Markham, ON. 334 pp.
  • Stirling I, Derocher AE (2012) Effects of climate warming on polar bears: a review of the evidence. Global Change Biology 18, 2694–2706. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02753.x


  1. ^ "The Council of Science Editors (CSE) - 2007 Annual Meeting". Councilscienceeditors.org. Archived from the original on April 3, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "CBC News Indepth: Polar Bears". Cbc.ca. 6 July 2004. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Grote, Stirling, Ian (1 January 1965). "Studies of the holding, behaviour and nutrition of captive blue grouse". doi:10.14288/1.0302522. hdl:2429/37452. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Population ecology of the Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddelli) in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica". hdl:10092/6646. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E. (1993). "Possible impacts of climatic warming on polar bears". Arctic. Arctic Institute of North America. 46 (3): 240–245. doi:10.14430/arctic1348.
  6. ^ "TheStar.com - Arctic In Peril - Polar bear population on thin ice". Thestar.com. 26 November 2007. Archived from the original on April 3, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ "Dr. Ian Stirling, O.C. - Graduation at UBC". Graduation.ubc.ca. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  8. ^ "Society for Marine Mammalogy". Marinemammalscience.org. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  9. ^ "Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research - ACUNS/AUCEN: Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies / Association universitaire canadienne d'études nordiques". Acuns.ca. Retrieved 2016-07-08.

External links[edit]