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Emperor Penguins: Residents of the 10th Planet

What does it take to hold your breath for up to an hour, swim to more than half a kilometer below sea level, and how would you even begin to answer a question like that? Dr. Gerald Kooyman, an expert on diving physiology, has been asking and providing extraordinary answers to that question for more than 40 years. Dr. Kooyman’s studies of emperor penguins and Weddell seals in the Antarctic have dramatically changed the way physiologists and behavioral ecologists think about diving. With close to 50 trips to the Antarctic, few people have logged as much “ice-time” as Dr. Kooyman. Recently his work has focused on the effects of global climate change on emperor penguins, an important indicator species.

Dr. Kooyman is the author of over 150 research papers and three books. He is a Fellow of The Explorer’s Club and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Polar Society. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the Kenneth S. Norris Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Marine Mammalogy. He even has a mountain in the Queen Elizabeth Range in Antarctica named after him (“Kooyman Peak”).