Kit Kovacs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kit Kovacs is a marine mammal researcher, best known for her work on biology, conservation and management of whales and seals. She is based at the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), Tromsø[1] and is an Adjunct professor of biology, Marine Biology, at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS).[2]

Kit Kovacs
Alma materBSc York University
MSc Lakehead University
PhD University of Guelph
Scientific career
FieldsMarine mammal biology
InstitutionsNorwegian Polar Institute
University Centre in Svalbard
University of Waterloo

Early life and education[edit]

Kovacs was born in Germany and has Canadian citizenship. She received her H.B.Sc. (Biology) in 1979 from York University, Toronto, Canada. In 1982, she was awarded a Master of Science degree in Biology by the Lakehead University at Thunder Bay. Her doctorate (Ph.D) in Zoology was awarded by the University of Guelph (Guelph) in 1986.[3]

Research career[edit]

Kovacs' teaching career, spanning over 12 years, started as an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo.[3] She is now the senior research scientist for the Biodiversity Research Programme at the Centre for Ice Climate and Ecosystems (ICE)[4] at the Norwegian Polar Institute,[1] as well as a professor of biology at University Studies on Svalbard (UNIS).[5][6]

During her 30-year-long research career,[5][7] Kovacs has studied marine mammal population ecology, biology conservation and management, including satellite tagging of bowhead whales since 2010,[8] the biopsy sampling of whales since 2006,[9] and extensive research on seals[10] Kovacs has published over 300 publications, receiving over 18,000 citations, resulting in an h-index and i10-index of 69 and 226 respectively.[11][1][7][12][13][14][15][excessive citations] Kovacs has also successfully facilitated cooperation between the tourism industry and researchers in the Arctic region.[16][17]


Kovacs has been the President of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.[5] She now plays an advisory role as Past President for Life, and is currently serving her second term as the Chair of the IUCN's Pinniped Specialist Group.[5][7] She served as a representative to the Standing Scientific Group – Life Science under SCAR from 2012 to 2015,[18][19] and as a member of Norway's delegation to the Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.[20]

Kovacs has held offices of Chairman to the Academic User's Board of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (1985– 1992), a member of the Board of Directors for the Huntsman Marine Science Centre (1990–1994), was the secretary of the Canadian National Council for the International Union of Biological Studies (NSERC) from 1989 to 1992, and editorial board Member for the Canadian Journal of Zoology from 1990 to 1994, a board member for the Arctic Light and Heat (ALV) Programme from Jan 1997– December 31, 2002, at the Norwegian National Research Council, the president of the International Society for Marine Mammalogy from 2004 to 2006 and is still a member of its scientific advisory council[21] and conservation council,l[21] a member of the Arctic Climate Biodiversity's[22] Impact Assessment Working Group,[23] as well as a contributing author to the ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) report in Chapter 9: Marine Systems[24] and Chapter 11: Management and Conservation of Wildlife in a Changing Arctic Environment.[25]

Kovacs was a committee member in 2003–2006[26][27][28][29] for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, United Kingdom) Special Committee on Seals (SCOS). Kovacs was an International coordinator for the Ringed Seal Circumpolar Network at the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) from 2000 to 2008,[30][31] a member and leader of the Impacts on Sea Ice Reductions in the NorACIA (Norwegian Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) – Group III, as well as a member of the Barend Sea Advisory Group at NorACIA.[3]

Kovacs is currently on the steering committee for the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Climate Change Specialist Group,[32] a member of the Biodiversity Centre Programme Scientific Committee (Polar Environmental Centre) since 2001,[33] has been on the Scientific Advisory Board Member for the American Cetacean Society since 2004,[34] serves on the Committee for Scientific Advisers and the Conservation Committee for the Society for Marine Mammalogy,[21] is a member of the Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research[35] and is on the EU Life Sciences Standing Committee, representing Norway.[3]

Kovacs was also the leader of Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole (MEOP) project during the International Polar Year,[36] and worked on the Barents Sea walrus Ecology project, which focused on studying stock structure, movement patterns and general ecology of Barents Sea walruses in collaboration with Russia (2014–15) and on Pechora walrus abundance, which focused on the abundance determination of Pechora Sea walruses in collaboration with Russia (2011–12).[37]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Lakehead University Graduate Entrance Scholarship (1979/80)
  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists' Award (1980/81)[38]
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (1980–1982)
  • AOU Best Student Paper Award (1081/81)
  • Multiple NSERC Postgraduate Science Scholarships (1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84)
  • Commonwealth Scholarship (1982/83)
  • University of Guelph Graduate Fellowship (1982/83)
  • Norman James Aquatic Mammals Fellowship in 1985[39]
  • NSERC/NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship (1986/87)[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Kit M. Kovacs". Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Kit M. Kovacs". University Centre in Svalbard. November 24, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kovacs, Kit. "CV" (PDF).
  4. ^ "ICE Ecosystems and research – ICE Ecosystems". Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Kit M. Kovacs Overview". Elsevier. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  6. ^ "Kit M. Kovacs – UNIS". UNIS. November 24, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Kit Kovacs — Climate Change Specialist Group (CCSG)". Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  8. ^ "Satellite tagging of bowhead whales". Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  9. ^ "Biopsy sampling whales". Norwegian Polar Institute. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Seal Ripper | Sable Island | Greenland Shark | Zoe Lucas | Lisa Natanson – Animal World Wonders". Animal World Wonders. August 9, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Kit M. Kovacs – Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "Kit Kovacs – Advice for Students". Vimeo. July 5, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Kit Kovacs | Historical Perspectives Interview Excerpt, Aquatic Mammals Journal, November 15, 2012, retrieved June 5, 2016
  14. ^ "Global Outlook for Ice and Snow". Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  15. ^ FRAMSHORTS (March 22, 2012), ARCTIC ANIMAL FACTS – Hooded seals: the worlds [sic] fastest gainers, retrieved June 5, 2016
  16. ^ "Successful cooperation between the tourism industry and researchers". CNNS. 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "Exciting observations – extraordinary images". The Arctic Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "Mandate for representatives to Standing Scientific Groups and Standing Committees under the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  19. ^ Written by. "International Committees – POLARPROG". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  20. ^ "Antarctic Ocean Alliance". Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  21. ^ a b c "Society for Marine Mammalogy". Society for Marine Mammalogy. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  22. ^ "Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) – Home". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  23. ^ "Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) – Authors". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ch9 Final" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  25. ^ David R. Klein. "Chapter 11: Management and Conservation of Wildlife in a Changing Arctic Environment" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  26. ^ "Scientific Advice on Matters Related to the Management of Seal Populations" (PDF). 2003. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  27. ^ "Scientific Advice on Matters Related to the Management of Seal Populations" (PDF). 2004. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  28. ^ "Scientific Advice on Matters Related to the Management of Seal Populations" (PDF). 2005. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  29. ^ "Scientific Advice on Matters Related to the Management of Seal Populations" (PDF). 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  30. ^ Kit M. Kovacs (ed.). "Circumpolar Ringed Seal (Pusa hispida) Monitoring" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  31. ^ "CAFF – CBMP Coordination Meeting: Akureyri, Iceland: April 11–12, 2002". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  32. ^ "Participants". Climate Change Specialist Group. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  33. ^ "AGU Fall Meeting". 2015 AGU Fall Meeting. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  34. ^ Dutton, Ian, ed. (2010). "Climate Change: Challenges to Cetacean Conservation". Journal of the American Cetacean Society. 39 (2).
  35. ^ "Members – The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research". Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  36. ^ "International Polar Year's unique research assistants". The Research Council of Norway. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  37. ^ "Norway 2015" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  38. ^ "Thunder Bay Field Naturalists". Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  39. ^ Kovacs, Kit M.; Lavigne, D. M. (June 16, 1986). "Cystophora cristata" (PDF). American Society of Mammalogists. 258: 1–9.

External links[edit]