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Wiebke Finkler

PhD Title

Save the Whales Part 2: The Science Communication of Whale WatchingWiebke Finkler Photo Resized

Research Abstract

With a background in Science Communication, Documentary Filmmaking and Marine Science, my current PhD work is researching a framework for more effective science communication in the whale watching setting. Drawing on elements of documentary filmmaking and TV commercials I'm developing a Science Communication commercial (termed ‘SciCommercial’) to improve sustainable management of whale watching and increase public awareness about responsible whale watching practices.


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Natural History Filmmaking and Communication (University of Otago) ;
  • MSc Marine Science (University of Otago) Thesis on The experiential impact of Whale Watching: Implications for management in the case of the San Juan Islands.

Scholarships and Awards

  • University of Otago PhD scholarship
  • Diane Campbell Hunt Memorial Award Winner 2013

Teaching Experience/tourism/research/current-phd/index.html

  • Guest lecturer and tutor for TOUR 306;
  • Guest lecturer for TOUR 218;
  • Teaching Fellow Centre for Science Communication 2008-2012: Seminar and tutorials for SCOM 401 (Techniques of Filmmaking);
  • SCOM 404 (Popularising Science)