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About the Book

When intrepid biology student Hanne Strager volunteered to be the cook on a small research vessel in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, the trip inspired a decades-long journey into the lives of killer whales—and an exploration of people’s complex relationships with the biggest predators on earth. The Killer Whale Journals chronicles the now internationally renowned science writer’s fascinating adventures around the world, documenting Strager’s personal experiences with orcas in the wild.

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Killer whales’ incredible intelligence, long life spans, and strong family bonds lead many people to see them as kindred spirits in the sea. But not everyone feels this way—like wolves, orcas have been both beloved and vilified throughout human history. In this absorbing odyssey, Strager traces the complicated relationship between humans and killer whales, while delving into their behavior, biology, and ecology. She brings us along in her travels to the most remote corners of the world, battling the stormy Arctic seas of northern Norway with fellow biologists intent on decoding whale-song, interviewing First Nations conservationists in Vancouver, observing Inuit hunters in Greenland, and witnessing the dismantling of black market “whale jails” in the Russian wilderness of Kamchatka.

Through these captivating stories, Strager introduces us to a diverse cast of characters from Inuit elders to Australian Aboriginal whalers and guides us through the world’s wild waters, from fjords above the Arctic circle in Norway to the poaching-infested waters off Kamchatka. Featuring astonishing photographs from famed nature photographer and conservationist Paul Nicklen, The Killer Whale Journals reveals rare and intimate moments of connection with these fierce, brilliant predators.


About the author

Hanne Strager is a Danish biologist, whale researcher, and author. She is the co-founder of the Andenes Whale Centre in Norway and she has served as the Director of Exhibitions at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. She has taught biology of marine mammals at the University of Copenhagen and has led numerous expeditions of whale researchers and film expeditions to Northern Norway. She is involved in the development and fundraising for the new Norwegian museum, The Whale, which is slated to begin construction in Andenes in 2025.

With an undergraduate degree in journalism, Strager received a Master of Science from the Aarhus University, Denmark. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at University of California, Santa Cruz, in their biology Ph.D. program.

Strager has been awarded the Copenhagen University Natural Sciences Faculty’s prize for science communication.

In addition to The Killer Whale Journals, Strager is the author of A Modest Genius: The Story of Darwin’s Life and How His Ideas Changed Everything, Precious Things and Shadow Zone.


Hanne Strager is a member of the Steering Committee for ”The Whale”, an ambitious project that plans to establish a new attraction in Andenes, Norway. The projects combines arts and science and aims to establish a new facility, where visitors can explore the wonders of whales through evocative and innovative exhibitions and galleries.


Hanne is also involved in research on population structure, movements and migration of killer whales in Norway. Killer whales are found year round in Norway, but are most common in winter time, when they follow migrating herring close to the shore.

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    Please contact Hanne Strager here.

    Email: hs@hannestrager.com