Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

Member, Committee of Scientific Advisors, Marine Mammal Commission (Washington, DC)


Officer, Order of Canada, 2000

Northern Science Award, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2003

Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 2007

Ph.D. Zoology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ (1968)

B.Sc. and M.Sc., University of British Columbia, Vancouver


Ian Stirling

Research Scientist Emeritus - Arctic Marine Ecosystems

Wildlife Research Division (Edmonton, AB)

CURRENT S&T / RESEARCH - Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to ensure wildlife is conserved and protected

  • Population ecology of polar bears and seals in arctic marine ecosystems
  • Effects of climate warming on polar bears and seals
  • Conservation and management of polar bears, seals, and arctic marine ecosystems


Member, IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group

Scientific Advisor, Polar Bears International


Stirling, I. 2011. Polar Bears: The Natural History of a Threatened Species. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. Markham, ON. 334 pp.

Stirling, I., and Derocher, A.E. 2012. Effects of Climate Warming on Polar Bears: A Review of the Evidence. (invited review) Global Climate Biology 18:2694-2706.

Stirling, I., McDonald, T.L., Richardson, E.S., Regehr, E.V., and Amstrup, S.C. 2011. Polar bear population status in the Northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971–2006. Ecological Applications 21:859–876.

Stirling, I., and Ross, J.E. 2011. Observations of cannibalism by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) on summer and autumn sea ice at Svalbard, Norway. Arctic 64:478-482.

Hobson, K.A., Stirling, I., and Andriashek, D.S. Isotopic homogeneity of breath CO2  from fasting and berry-eating polar bears: Implications for tracing reliance on  terrestrial foods in a changing Arctic. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87:50-55.

Davis, C.S., Stirling, I., Strobeck, C., and Coltman, D. 2008. Population structure of ice-breeding seals. Molecular Ecology 17:3078–3094.

Thiemann, G.W., Iverson, S.J., and Stirling, I. Polar bear diets and arctic marine food  webs: insights from fatty acid analysis. Ecological Monographs, 78:591–613.

Laidre, K.L., Stirling, I., Lowry, L.F., Wiig, Ø., Heide-Jørgensen, M-P., and Ferguson, S.H. 2008. Quantifying the sensitivity of arctic marine mammals to climate-induced habitat change. Ecological Applications 18 Supplement: S97–S125.

Regehr, E.V., Lunn, N.J., Amstrup, S.C., Stirling, I.  Effects of earlier sea ice breakup on survival and population size of polar bears in western Hudson Bay.  Journal of   Wildlife Management 71:2673-2683.

Stirling, I., and C.L. Parkinson. 2006. Possible Effects of Climate Warming on Selected Populations of Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic. Arctic 59(3): 261-275.

Stirling, I. 2002. Polar Bears and Seals in the Eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf: A Synthesis of Population Trends and Ecological Relationships over Three Decades. Arctic 55, Supplement 1: 59-76.

Stirling, I. and J.A. Thomas. 2001. Relationships between underwater vocalizations and mating systems in phocid seals. Aquatic Mammals 29: 247-246.

Stirling, I., N.J. Lunn and J. Iacozza. 1999. Long-term trends in the population ecology of polar bears in western Hudson Bay in relation to climatic change.  Arctic 52: 294-306.

Stirling, I. and Øritsland, N.A. 1995. Relationships between estimates of ringed seal and polar bear populations in the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52:2594-2612.

Expertise Categories associated with this S&T Expert:

Arctic & Northern
          Marine ecosystem
          Pinnipeds (seals, walruses)
          Polar bears
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