collaborating scientists

Brian W. Kot, Ph.D.

Research Director


Dr. Kot is a vertebrate zoologist who has worked with rorqual whales, particularly minke whales, since 1998. He holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His previous research and teaching appointments include as a biology professor at Antioch College, as a postdoctoral researcher on whales, seals, and sea turtles at Texas A&M University, and as a postdoctoral researcher on wolves, moose, and deer at the Minnesota Zoo/University of Minnesota-Duluth.

His research interests are comparative and multidisciplinary, with hypothesis-driven questions often involving foraging ecology, predator-prey interactions, functional morphology, locomotion performance (e.g., biomechanics and energetics), and sensory capabilities. With a dual background in applied engineering and biology, he often develops research technology including underwater sensory systems for use in field experiments involving rorqual whale sensory capabilities and behavioral responses to fishing gear.  His latest project involves functional morphology of minke whale flukes using a life-size model during in-situ tests. Dr. Kot and his work have been featured in the popular press, at the Royal Ontario Museum, online (e.g., BBC – Earth News), and on international television programs (e.g., Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet program). When not conducting research or teaching, Dr. Kot enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, fly fishing, snowshoeing, and restoring classic cars and vintage snowmobiles.