Honours for whale experts
RAISING two children on the high seas while mapping the migration of humpback whales was normal life for marine biologists Kenneth Curt and Micheline-Nicole Jenner.
The husband-and-wife team were appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List yesterday.
The Fremantle residents originally began their research by counting the population of humpback whales, according to Mr Curt.
“We were able to map the boundaries of the Humpback whale caving grounds in the wilderness of the Kimberley,” he said.
“We then helped the government create a marine sanctuary there for calving whales.
“We then headed to Antarctica to see where the calves feed.”
Ms Jenner said while the duo were building a boat, she was also building the crew with the birth of their children.
“Our first daughter has lived on the boat since she was seven months old,” she said.
“One of the greatest achievement was raising our children on board whilst doing research. We didn’t lose any of them.”
They were both shocked when they received the honour of the Order of Australia and said it was a humbling experience.
Ms Jenner said she hoped in the future to understand and protect pygmy blue whales.
“Our work is not done yet and we need to continue our efforts to help those whales,” she said.
Daughter Tasmin Jenner (then 14, left) with Mich and Kenneth holding the Explorers Club Flag 69 aloft in the Antarctic.