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The Atlantic Walrus - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128174302

The Atlantic Walrus

1st Edition

Multidisciplinary Insights into Human-Animal Interactions

Editors: Xenia Keighley Morton Olsen Peter Jordan Sean Desjardins
Paperback ISBN: 9780128174302
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 9th April 2021
Page Count: 316
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The Atlantic Walrus: Multidisciplinary Insights Into Human-Animal Interactions addresses the key dimensions of long-term human-walrus interactions across the Atlantic Arctic and subarctic regions over the past four thousand years. This book brings together research from across the social and natural sciences to explore walrus biology, human culture, environmental conditions and their reciprocal effects. Together, the thirteen chapters reconstruct the early evolution of walruses, walrus biology, the cultural significance and ecological impact of prehistoric and indigenous hunting practices as well as the effects of commercial hunting and international trade. The book also examines historic and ongoing management strategies, the importance of new research methodologies in revealing hitherto unknown details of the past, and concludes by discussing the future for Atlantic walruses in face of climate change and increased human activities in the Arctic.

This volume is an ideal resource for those seeking to understand an iconic Arctic species and its long and complex relationship with humans. This includes individuals and researchers with a personal or professional connection to walruses or the Arctic, as well as marine biologists, zoologists, conservationists, paleontologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, indigenous communities, natural resource managers and government agencies.

Key Features

  • Consolidates research scattered across fields and academic publications by providing succinct overviews of the biology of Atlantic walrus, as well as human cultures within the North Atlantic Arctic and the surrounding region
  • Editorial team of inter-disciplinary researchers ensuring the breadth, depth and integration of material covered throughout the volume
  • Thirteen chapters, each authored by leading international researchers and experts on the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus)
  • Considers the inter-relatedness and complexity of species biology, ecological change, human culture, and anthropogenic pressures of walrus while remaining accessible to readers from different disciplines or a more generalist audience
  • Draws upon the latest methods in marine mammal and archaeological research
  • Assesses historical management of the species versus implemented and future efforts for conservation due to human interference and climate change
  • Text supported by striking and insightful new maps and scientific illustrations, ideal for teaching and outreach


Researchers and students in marine biology, conservation biology, climate change studies, and environmental studies

Table of Contents

Section I: Atlantic Walrus Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior
1. Atlantic Walrus Evolution
2. General Ecology and Behavior of Atlantic Walruses
3. Current Stocks, Distribution, and Population Estimates

Section II: Indigenous Walrus Roles – 4,000 BC to Present
4. The Role of the Walrus in Artic Indigenous Cultures and Mythology
5. Paleo-Inuit Walrus Use in Article Canada and Greenland
6. Neo-Inuit Walrus Use in Arctic Canada and Greenland – 1250 AD to Present

Section III: Non-Indigenous Walrus Roles – Medieval Times to Present
7. European and Greenlandic Norse (Viking) Walrus Hunting – Methods, Techniques, and Extent
8. Medieval European Ivory Exchange
9. Modern Commercial Atlantic Walrus Exploitation
10. Historical Management of the Atlantic Walrus

Section IV: Future Directions and Innovations in Atlantic Walrus Research
11. Molecular Advances in Archaeological and Biological Research
12. Marine Mammal Monitoring and Drone Technology Applications
13. Future Atlantic Walrus Management and Conservation in a Changing Arctic


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2021
9th April 2021
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editors

Xenia Keighley

Xénia A. Weber is a biologist specializing in taxonomy and evolutionary processes. As a Marie Curie PhD student at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, she has brought together a dynamic network of researchers from across disciplines to investigate the historical- and palaeoecology of the Atlantic walrus. Xénia received her Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) in plant, evolutionary and environmental sciences from the Australian National University. In addition to a prestigious University Medal, she has received numerous awards and scholarships. Notably, she has communicated her research—and the research of others—to both scientific audiences and the wider public in traditional classroom settings and online forums.

Affiliations and Expertise

Natural History Museum of Denmark, Section for Evolutionary Genomics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Morton Olsen

Morten Tange Olsen is Assistant Professor and Curator of Marine Mammals at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, where he heads the Marine Mammal Ecology and Evolution group. He specializes in the ecology and evolution of marine mammals, using cutting-edge scientific techniques in a holistic integrative approach to understand and disseminate environment-human-animal interactions through scientific and popular publications, student supervision, university teaching and public outreach. He is vice-chair in HELCOM’s marine mammal expert group, member of the Danish Nature Agency working group on seals, and participated in the establishment of the ICAZ working group on marine mammals.

Affiliations and Expertise

Natural History Museum of Denmark, Section for Evolutionary Genomics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Peter Jordan

Peter D. Jordan is Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University, Sweden. He also serves on the Management Team of the Groningen (Research) Institute of Archaeology. He plays a leading role in Netherlands Polar research and serves as Netherlands National Representative in the Council of the International Arctic Science Committee ( and in its Social and Human Working Group. He also Chairs the IASC Polar Archaeology Network, and manages Dutch research conducted for the Arctic Council’s Working Groups. He was active in IASC’s ICARPIII planning process and ensured that the historical ecology of long-term human-environment interactions in the Circumpolar Arctic was adopted as one of its new crosscutting research theme.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University, Sweden

Sean Desjardins

Sean P. A. Desjardins is an ethnoarchaeologist and zooarchaeologist specializing in long-term cultural sustainability among Canadian Neo-Inuit (ca. AD 1250 to present). He earned his PhD in anthropology from McGill University in 2016. Since 2010, he has led both archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork in the Foxe Basin region of Nunavut, Arctic Canada. His current research documents recent-historic Inuit life—particularly diet and winter-house construction—across the region immediately prior to settlement in modern communities in the early 20th century. In addition to serving as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Arctic Centre of the University of Groningen, he represents the Netherlands in the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council.

Affiliations and Expertise

Arctic Centre, Research Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

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