Ursula grew up far away from the oceans in landlocked Switzerland. Loving the outdoors she developed a strong interest in nature and conservation. After receiving a teacher’s degree in craftwork and art she travelled to Canada where her dream of her childhood came true: she met whales and dolphins in their natural environment. These encounters changed her life and for the next 20 years she studied cetaceans in the St. Lawrence Estuary in Eastern Canada.
Her main focus became the little known, but fascinating minke whale. During thousands of hours spent on the water she gained unique insights into their habitat use, feeding ecology, hunting strategies and social structure. She loves to “talk minke” telling stories that present individual whales like Loca, Shawne & Co. and explaining their tricks used to outsmart their prey.
Ursula obtained a Master in Research in Marine Mammal Science at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and has been involved in the study of cetaceans and marine wildlife in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Ursula loves to be approached at any time to share her knowledge often triggered by the guests’ interesting questions or own stories. As an educator her personal goal is to raise respect for nature and to increase environmental awareness. Her strength lies not in numbers of how many or how big. Her strength lies in explaining natural principles, animal behaviours and interactions.
When not working as a tour guide, lecturer and zodiac driver in polar regions Ursula enjoys hiking in the Swiss mountains. She also produces life-sized fabric animals to show their beauty, size and diversity at schools and in the public.