Ian Stirling

Retired (2007):
Research Scientist Emeritus, Wildlife Research Division
Science and Technology Branch, Environment Edmonton, Canada

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.  T6G 2E9

E-Mail address:

Professional Memberships:
Member, IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group

Scientific Advisor, Polar Bears International

Weston Family Award for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research, 2015

Norris Award for lifetime achievement in Mammal Science, Society for Marine Mammalogy, 2013

Honorary Doctor of Science: University of Alberta and University of British Columbia, 2013

Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2007

Northern Science Award, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003

Officer, Order of Canada, 2000

Research Interests:
My research interests are with the population ecology of seals in both polar regions and polar bears in the Arctic, the effects of climate warming on polar bears and seals, and conservation and management of polar bears, seals, and polar marine ecosystems. Since retirement from running active field programs, my research activity primarily consists of analyzing data I have collected over the years on a variety of topics and writing papers, either in collaboration with colleagues and graduate students or on my own. I continue to gather modest amounts of new data on an opportunistic basis in a number of other polar venues.

I am no longer taking graduate students for research-based theses but continue to participate on thesis committees. On a request basis, I continue to do guest lectures and provide informal advice and comment to students in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, and elsewhere.

Recent publications that reflect some of my research interests:


Most recent book on polar bears:
Stirling, I. 2011. Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. Markham, ON. 334 pp.

Selected publications: