where to

Narwhals are traveling to a town near you!


The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit, “Narwhal: Revealing An Arctic Legend” brings the iconic megafauna, Inuit tales, climate-change, and science about this unique whale to communities across America for the next five years.


As a Harvard and Smithsonian dental researcher, I worked closely with William Fitzhugh-Ph.D., Director of the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian and Marianne Marcoux, Ph.D. Senior Scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada to tell the story of the narwhal, and the mystery-of-its extraordinary tusk, able to sense its environment.”


After receiving enthusiastic rave reviews after its opening at-the National Museum of Natural


History in Washington, D.C. in August 2017, with over an estimated 12 million visitors, narwhals are venturing onward. The first stop was the Milwaukee Public Museum in Wisconsin and the exhibit will close on the 2nd of October. On the 22nd of October, “Narwhals” will be opening at the Bell Museum (University in Minnesota) in St. Paul and will run until the 15th of January 2023. New to the exhibit is a touchable, braille narwhal for the vision impaired, and all the joys that were included in the original exhibit.

As a full-time dentist, I started my research interest in the function of the narwhal tusk as a passion of curiosity. Rarely do curators at the nation’s leading Museum come from the citizen science community, but I have been persistent and successful in my passion. With my unique perspective of including Inuit elders and hunters with myriad groups of scientists, my work was cited in a “Highlight’ to the US Congress as “a model for science as it seeks to better understand our world.” Collaborations formed under my direction as Principal Investigator are Narwhal Tusk Discoveries, The Narwhal Genome Initiative, and The Narwhal HoloLens Experience with an augmented reality vision of live narwhal swimming and an Inuit elder describing observations of traditional knowledge.

To continue exploring these academic avenues of interest, I was appointed academic positions on the faculties of dental medicine at Harvard and Case Western Reserve Universities, and research associate positions at the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

“Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend, also for youth.”


It took me sixteen expeditions to the Arctic to accumulate my knowledge on the Arctic world of the Narwhal as well as the interconnected relationships between humans, arctic mammals and their changing environment. All of this research resulted in a book: “Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend,” which won the William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books (2018) and copies can be obtained on the shop page of the Sustainable Styles Magazine.


Since few animals on the planet inspire the sense of wonder evoked by the Narwhal and the Arctic unicorn is everyone’s version of awesome and cool, a book for kids was also going to be created. When the environmental economist and Certified National Geographic Educator Pamela Peeters joined me on my last two expeditions to Pond Inlet (Baffin Island) a book for children was started entitled “Eco Hero goes to Canada” inclusive of a teacher’s manual. A graphic novel “Transformed by a Tusk” – already in English and Dutch – came later and this work is also available in the Sustainable Styles shop.