Kristin Laidre

Kristin LaidreKristin Laidre is currently a research scientist at the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington. She is partially supported by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in Nuuk, Greenland. Her primary research interests lie in spatial modeling of movement and spatially-explicit foraging ecology of top marine predators. She is interested in how environmental features and habitat variables manifest themselves as constraints on movement and behavior, and how these constraints differentially impact demographics of sub-populations or metapopulations of marine species. Her research is focused on exploring these relationships using satellite and archival telemetry, in combination with remotely-sensed satellite data and quantitative spatial models in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Her research also links spatial environmental fluctuation to bioenergetic models and food webs in the marine ecosystem. Much of her research is focused in the high Arctic, where both short food chains and very limited and specific production periods strongly shape the behavior of top predators.

Kristin Laidre’s web page

In The News

Selected Projects

  • Climate Change, Sea Ice Loss, and Polar Bears in Greenland

    This project aims to understand and quantify the effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in East and West Greenland (Baffin Bay).  Longitudinal (cross-time) comparisons of movement behavior and habitat selection will be driven by an analysis of a multi-decadal satellite telemetry dataset on polar bear movements in Baffin Bay and East Greenland, beginning when sea ice concentration and break up date started to decline (1991-1997) and encompassing present day conditions (2007-2013).

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  • Behavioral Ecology of Narwhals in a Changing Arctic

    The Arctic is currently undergoing rapid and extraordinary large-scale changes related to natural resource development, marine shipping, transportation, infrastructure, and sea ice loss, and as a consequence there will be an imminent and uniform increase in anthropogenic sound. Narwhals are an important representative species for understanding both increasing noise in the Arctic and loss of sea ice, and the joint effects of these impacts on their behavior and ecology.

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Selected Publications

  • Koblitz J.C., Stilz P., Rasmussen M.H., Laidre K.L. (2016) Highly Directional Sonar Beam of Narwhals (Monodon monoceros) Measured with a Vertical 16 Hydrophone Array. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0162069. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0162069

  • Laidre K. L., Moon T., Hauser D.D.W., McGovern R., Heide-Jørgensen M.P., Dietz R., Hudson B., Use of glacial fronts by narwhals (Monodon monoceros) in West Greenland. Biol. Lett. 12: 20160457,, 2016.

  • Stern, H. L. and Laidre, K. L., Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat, The Cryosphere, 10, 2027-2041, doi:10.5194/tc-10-2027-2016, 2016.

  • Kutschera, V. E., Frosch, C., Janke, A., Skírnisson, K., Bidon, T., Lecomte, N., Fain, S. R., Eiken, H. G., Hagen, S. B., Arnason, U., Laidre, K. L., Nowak, C. and Hailer, F. (2016), High genetic variability of vagrant polar bears illustrates importance of population connectivity in fragmented sea ice habitats. Anim Conserv, 19: 337–349. doi:10.1111/acv.12250

  • Laidre, K. L., Stern, H., Kovacs, K. M., Lowry, L., Moore, S. E., Regehr, E. V., Ferguson, S. H., Wiig, Ø., Boveng, P., Angliss, R. P., Born, E. W., Litovka, D., Quakenbush, L., Lydersen, C., Vongraven, D. and Ugarte, F. (2015), Arctic marine mammal population status, sea ice habitat loss, and conservation recommendations for the 21st century. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12474

  • Laidre, K., Heide-Jorgensen, H. Stern, and P. Richard, 2012, Unusual narwahl sea ice entrapments and delayed autumn freeze-up trends, Polar Biology, 35, 149-154, doi: 10.007/s00300-001-1036-8

  • Stafford, K., K. L. Laidre, and M. P. Heide-Jørgensen. In Press. First wintertime recording of narwhals in West Greenland. Marine Mammal Science

  • Wiig Ø., Heide-Jørgensen M. P., K.L. Laidre, E. Garde, R Reeves. 2012. Geographic variation in cranial morphology of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) from Greenland and the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Polar Biology 35:63-71 DOI 10.1007/s00300-011-1032-z

  • Hansen, R., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, and K. L. Laidre. In Press. Recent abundance of bowhead whales in Isabella Bay, Canada. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P., K. L. Laidre, D. Litovka, M. Villum Jensen, J.M. Grebmeier, B.I. Sirenko. 2012. Identifying gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) foraging grounds along the Chukotka Peninsula, Russia, using satellite telemetry. Polar Biology In Press. DOI: 10.1007/s00300-011-1151-6

  • Wilmers C. C., J. A. Estes, M. Edwards, K. L. Laidre, and B. Konar. In Press. Do trophic cascades affect the storage and flux of atmospheric carbon? An analysis for sea otters and kelp forests. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

  • Laidre, K. L., and M. P. Heide-Jørgensen. 2012. Springtime partitioning of Disko Bay, West Greenland by Arctic and sub-Arctic baleen whales. ICES Journal of Marine Science. In Press.

  • Laidre K.L. and M.P. Heide-Jørgensen, “Life in the lead: Extreme densities of narwhals in the offshore pack ice”, Marine Ecology Progress Series. In Press, 2011

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K. L. Laidre, Ø. Wiig, L. Postma, L. Dueck, L. Bachmann, “Large scale sexual segregation of bowhead whales”, Endangered Species Research 13:73-78, 2010.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P., K. L. Laidre, M.L. Burt, D.L. Borchers, T. A. Marques, R. G. Hansen, M. Rasmussen and S. Fossette, “Abundance of narwhals (Monodon monoceros L.) on the hunting grounds in Greenland”, Journal of Mammalogy 91(5):1135–1151, 2010

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, M. L. Logsdon, L. Delwiche, T. G. Nielsen, “A whale of an opportunity: Examining the vertical structure of high Arctic waters using space-based ocean observations and instrumented marine predators”, Marine Biology Research 6:519-529, 2010.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, P. Heagerty, A. Cossio, B. Bergstrom, and M. Simon, “Spatial associations between large baleen whales and their prey in West Greenland”, Marine Ecology Progress Series 402:269-284, 2010.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, W. Ermold, and M. Steele, “Narwhals document continued warming of Baffin Bay”, Journal of Geophysical Research 115: C10049, doi:10.1029/2009JC005820, 2010.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K.L. Laidre, D. Borchers, T.A. Marques, H. Stern, and M. Simon, 2010, The effect of sea-ice loss on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in West Greenland’, Polar Research, doi:10.1111/j.1751-8369.2009.00142.x, 2010.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P., L. Witting, K.L. Laidre and  R.G. Hansen, M. Rasmussen. 2010. Estimates of minke whale abundance in West Greenland in 2007. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 11(2):75-82.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P., K.L. Laidre and M. Simon, M. Rasmussen, M.L. Burt and D.L. Borchers. 2010. Abundance estimates of fin whales in West Greenland in 2007. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 11(2):83-88.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, W. Ermold, and M. Steele. 2010. Narwhals document continued warming of southern Baffin Bay. Journal of Geophysical Research 115: C10049, doi:10.1029/2009JC005820.

  • Born, E.W., A. Heilmann, L. Kielsen Holm, and K.L. Laidre,’ Polar bears in Northwest Greenland: an interview survey about the catch and the climate’, Monographs on Greenland, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 351, 250, 2010.

  • Laidre, K.L., P. Heagerty, M.P. Heide-Jørgensen, L. Witting, and M. Simon,’ Sexual segregation of common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and sex ratio of catches in Greenland’, ICES J. Mar. Sci, 66, 2253-2266, 2009.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., and K.L. Laidre,’ Marine apex predators’, The Greenland Ice Sheet in a Changing Climate, edited by D. Dahl-Jensen et al. Oslo, Norway, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 76-78, 2009.

  • Gurarie, E., R. Andrews, and K.L. Laidre,’ A novel method for identifying behavioral changes in animal movement data’, Ecol. Lett., 12, 395-408, 2009.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P Heide-Jørgensen, J. Nyland, A. Mosbech, and D. Boertmann, “Latitudinal gradients in sea ice and primary production determine Arctic seabird colony size in Greenland”, Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 275: 2695–2702 doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0874, 2008.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M. P., R. Dietz, K. L. Laidre, P. Nicklen, E. Garde, P. Richard, J. Orr. 2008. Resighting of a narwhal (Monodon monoceros) instrumented with a satellite transmitter. Arctic 61(4) 395-398.

  • Dietz, R., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, P. Richard, J. Orr, K. L. Laidre, and H. C. Schmidt. 2008. Movements of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) from Admiralty Inlet monitored by satellite telemetry. Polar Biology 31(11):1295-1306.

  • Stafford, K., S. E. Moore, K. L. Laidre, and M. P. Heide-Jørgensen. 2008. Bowhead whale springtime song offshore West Greenland. J of Acoustical Society of America 124(5): 3315-3323.

  • Laidre, K.L., I. Stirling, L. Lowry, Ø. Wiig, M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, and S. Ferguson,’ Quantifying the sensitivity of arctic marine mammals to climate-induced habitat change’, Ecological Applications, 18(2):S97-S125, 2007.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M. P, H. Stern, and K. L. Laidre. 2007. Dynamics of the sea ice edge in Davis Strait. Journal of Marine Systems 67:170-178.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M. P., M. Juul Simon, and K. L. Laidre. 2007. Estimates of large whale abundance in Greenland in September 2005. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 9(2): 95-104.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M. P., and K. L. Laidre. 2007. Autumn-space use patterns of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in West Greenland. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 9(2):121-126.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, and T. G. Nielsen. 2007. The role of the bowhead whale as a predator in West Greenland. Marine Ecology Progress Series 346: 285-297.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K. L. Laidre, D. Borchers, F. Samara, and H. Stern. 2007. Increasing abundance of bowhead whales in West Greenland. Biology Letters 3: 577-580.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, and T. G. Nielsen,’ The role of the bowhead whale as a predator in West Greenland’, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 346: 285-297,2007.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen,’ Using narwhals as oceanographic sampling platforms in the high Arctic’, Oceanography, in press, 2007.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M. P., K. L. Laidre, M. L. Logsdon, and T. G. Nielsen,’ Springtime coupling between phytoplankton, sea ice and sea temperature in Disko Bay, West Greenland’, Progress in Oceanography, 73:79-95, 2007.

  • Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., H. Stern, and K. Laidre,’ Dynamics of the ice edge in Davis Strait’, Journal of Marine Systems, 67, 170-178, 2007

  • Koski, W. R., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, K. L. Laidre. 2006. Winter abundance of bowhead whales, Balaena mysticetus, in Hudson Strait in March 1981. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8(2): 139-144.

  • Laidre, K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, and J. Orr,’ Reactions of narwhals, Monodon monoceros, to killer whale, Orcinus orca, attacks in the eastern Canadian High Arctic’,Canadian Field Naturalist, 120(4): 457–465., 2006.

  • Laidre K. L., and M. P. Heide-Jørgensen. 2005. Winter feeding intensity of narwhals. Marine Mammal Science 21(1): 45-57.

  • Hobbs, R.C., K. L. Laidre, D. J. Vos, and B. A. Mahoney. 2005. Movements and area use of belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, in a subarctic Alaskan estuary. Arctic 58(4): 331-340.

  • Laidre K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, M. L. Lodgson, R. C. Hobbs, R. Dietz, and G. R. VanBlaricom. 2004. Fractal analysis of narwhal space use patterns. Zoology 107(1): 3-11.

  • Laidre K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, O. A. Jørgensen, and M. A. Treble. 2004. Deep ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean. ICES Journal of Marine Science 61(3): 430-440.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P. and K. L. Laidre. 2004. Declining open water refugia for top predators in Baffin Bay and adjacent waters. Ambio 33(8): 488-495.

  • Heide-Jørgensen M. P., P. Richard, R Dietz, K. L. Laidre, J Orr, and H. C. Schmidt. 2003. An estimate of the fraction of belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Canadian High Arctic that winter in West Greenland. Polar Biology 26: 318-326.

  • Laidre K. L., M. P. Heide-Jørgensen, R. Dietz, R. C. Hobbs, and O. A. Jørgensen. 2003. Deep-diving by narwhals, Monodon monoceros: differences in foraging behavior between wintering areas? Marine Ecology Progress Series 261:269-281.


The Polar Science Center is a group of dedicated investigators conducting interdisciplinary research on the oceanography, climatology, meteorology, biology and ecology of the ice-covered regions on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Learn more »