Researcher biography

Katya is a marine biologist from Russia. Daughter of Arctic biologists, she started travelling into the wilderness – mainly high latitudes - since her childhood. Katya graduated from Biological Faculty of Moscow State University in 2009, and chose marine mammal research as her focus, doing her final thesis on the ecology of sea otters on Commander Islands. Since then she participated in a number of research projects, ship cruises and private expeditions in the Russian Far East and Russian Arctic, including working on sea otter population ecology on Kuril Islands and volunteering for the Far East Russia Orca Research Project on Commander Islands.

Since 2010 Katya has been working as a guide on expedition ships both in the Russian Far East, Sub-Antarctic Islands and Antarctica. While working on ships, Katya set up the system to collect data on marine mammals, which were then distributed to relevant research projects and some of it used in publications. She has done many expeditions in both parts of the world until 2014, when she took a break to do a Masters degree at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, on the ecology of killer whales in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

Katya has also participated in some volunteer projects in her spare time, including sea otter research in Monterey Bay Aquarium (California, USA) in 2008 and 2013, killer whale research with Orca Research Trust (Whangarei, New Zealand) in 2014 and a number of conservation and animal welfare campaigns, mainly in Russia.

Subtropical ecosystems being a new experience for her, Katya has started her PhD with CEAL in November 2016. She will be working on the project looking at bottlenose dolphin population ecology and acoustics in Moreton Bay.

Selected publications

Ovsyanikova E., Fedutin I., Belonovich O., Burdin A., Burkanov V., Dolgova E., Filatova O., Fomin S., Hoyt E., Mamaev E., Richard G., Savenko O., Sekiguchi K., Shpak O., Sidorenko M., Titova O. 2015. Opportunistic sightings of the endangered North Pacific Right Whales (Eubalaena japonica) in Russian waters in 2003-2014. Marine Mammal Science, DOI: 10.1111/msms.12243.

Conference presentations

Ovsyanikova E.N., Carswell L., Gurarie E., Altukhov A.V., Tsidulko G.A., Kenner M., 2015. Results of the 2012 Kuril Island Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris L.) survey.  Conference proceedings of the Sea Otter Conservation Workshop IX, March 27-29, 2015. Seattle, USA.

Ovsyanikova E.N., Carswell L., Gurarie E., Altukhov A.V., Tsidulko G.A., Kenner M., 
2014. Results of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris L.) survey, conducted in 2012 on the Kuril Islands.  Collection of Scientific Papers After the Eighth International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. 


Ovsyanikova E.N., Fedutin I.D., Burdin A.M., Burkanov V.N., Filatova O.A., Fomin S.V., Hoyt E., Mamaev E.G., Sekiguchi K., Shpak O.V., 2014. Sightings of North Pacific Right Whales (Eubalaena japonica) in Russian Far East waters with reference to potential risk areas for the species.  Collection of Scientific Papers After the Eighth International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. 


Ovsyanikova E., 2012. Sightings of walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in North- Eastern Kamchatka and Southern Chukotka: results of observations from the cruise vessels in 2007-2011.  Collection of Scientific Papers After the Seventh International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, Suzdal, Russia. 


Ovsyanikova, E., Bentall G.B., Tinker M.T., Burdin A.M., Estes J.A., and Monson D.H., 2010. Results of 3-year study of behavior and movements of Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris L.) on Bering Island (Commander Islands) using telemetry devices.  Collection of Scientific Papers After the Sixth International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, Kaliningrad, Russia. 


Ovsyanikova E.N., Burdin A.M., Tinker M.T., 2008. Foraging activity of individually tagged sea otters (Enhydra lutris L.) on Bering Island.  Collection of Scientific Papers After the Fifth International Conference on Marine Mammals of the Holarctic, Odessa, Ukraine.