Rachael Mead reviews 'The Secret Life of Whales: A marine biologist’s revelations' by Micheline Jenner

Rachael Mead reviews 'The Secret Life of Whales: A marine biologist’s revelations' by Micheline Jenner

The Secret Life of Whales: A marine biologist’s revelations

by Micheline Jenner

NewSouth, $29.99 pb, 320pp, 9781742235547

Rachael Mead

Rachael Mead

Rachael Mead is a writer, poet, and bookseller living in South Australia. Her second book of poetry The Flaw in the Pattern is


The title of this book is surprisingly apt. Considering that whales are such charismatic creatures and icons of the conservation movement, it comes as a shock to realise how much of their ecology and behavior was unknown prior to the revolutionary research of marine biologist, Micheline Jenner. Part popular science, part vocational memoir, this book is a personal account of Jenner’s astounding career in cetacean biology. Spanning three decades, Jenner and her husband’s work with whale and dolphin populations has significantly advanced ecological knowledge and has, as a direct consequence, enhanced conservation efforts in Australian waters.

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