The video below expounds upon this new research about how biologists have created a language to communicate with dolphins.
Jason grew up in Yorkshire and went on to study at Oxford University, where he gained a PhD in psychology. Shortly afterwards he emigrated to Canada, and now lives on Salt Spring Island – one of the beautiful Gulf Islands located in the Salish Sea between Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Jason started travelling before he could talk, thanks to family vacations in Spain’s Balearic Islands. At sixteen, he set out on his first independent trip, when he and a schoolfriend visited the sites of First World War battlefields in in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. “That was it!” he recalls. “The travel bug got into my blood and I’ve had a love for exploring ever since.”
During his PhD research Jason lived in the high Canadian Arctic for several months. Here he was able to experience nights in an igloo and dog-sled trips across the tundra. “Seeing the sun shining at two in the morning took some getting used to, as did the daytime high temperature that barely rose above freezing,” he says. “I will always admire the strength and resilience of the Inuit people who have lived up there for thousands of years – without them, I don’t think I’d have lasted a day.”
Impressed by the sense of cultural cohesion and tradition he encountered in the Arctic, Jason grew more curious about indigenous cultures around the world. From Amazonian shamans and Sami elders in northern Finland to Micronesian fishermen and Syrian market-traders, each new culture he has encountered presents a welcome opportunity to learn a little more and challenge his view about ‘the way things are’. As Jason says, “Living in the comfortable bubble of North America, it’s easy to start believing that everyone enjoys a similar standard of living and has a similar outlook on the world – but it is only by travelling that we can even begin to appreciate a much richer, more varied planet than we ever thought possible.”
In the last two decades Jason has travelled to more than eighty countries on all six inhabited continents – and some places have inspired him to make return visits. “It’s hard not to pick favourites,” he comments, “but Turkey and Syria are very dear to me because of their warm-hearted people. I see that same kindness in the eyes of many people in the remote parts of Southeast Asia, and rarely have I witnessed such joie de vivre than among the Pacific Islanders of Polynesia.”