Punta Norte Orca Research is a non-profit international organization based on the Peninsula Valdés, Chubut, Argentina. Our mission is to scientifically study and better understand the unique population of orca in this area, including their distribution and foraging techniques. We seek to educate the public about these animals and their delicate environment.
DIRECTOR: Dr. Ingrid N. Visser | New Zealand
ORCA Researcher, Marine Biologist, and Photographer. Conducts research on orca in the South Pacific (New Zealand), Antarctica, and Papua New Guinea. Holds photo identification catalogues for New Zealand, Antarctica, and Papua New Guinea (see www.orcaresearch.org). Has published various scientific articles on orca, specialising in foraging behaviour.
PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER: Juan Copello | Argentina
Juan Manuel Copello, Argentina – Photographer. Lived over 30 years at Punta Norte and observed more than 1000 Orca attacks on various prey. Visited Orca in New Zealand waters 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 to observe foraging behaviour.
PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER: Leoni Gaffet | Argentina
English translator & tour guide. Between 1998 & 2004 Maria Leoni worked for the Secretary of Tourism in Chubut, Argentina, for the areas of Marketing and Conservation of Protected Areas. She has spent various seasons as official overseer to photographers and film teams on Peninsula Valdes thereby witnessing hundreds of orca attacks. Official translator of documents for PNOR.
PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER: Gretchen Freund | United States of America
Gretchen Freund, United States of America – Photographer. Visited Punta Norte to photograph orca since 1998. Has taken over 3000 photographs of this population of orca and witnessed more than 1000 attacks. Visited Orca in Norway, Alaska, San Juan Islands and Greenland to observe foraging behaviour. Published photographs in museums, aquariums, magazines, newspapers and in scientific articles.
PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER: Jorge Cazenave | Argentina
Photographer, naturalist and tourism businessman. Has visited Punta Norte since 2001 and in that timeframe has witnessed the orca exhibiting a range of behaviours including attacks. Also collaborates in several conservation
projects in different regions of Argentina. In charge of the Punta Norte Orca Research website and helps run the PNOR facebook page.