making sense of the tusk

Annual Review of Animal Biosciences Biology
and Cultural Importance of the Narwhal, 2024


“Existing and future studies in myriad fields of physical, chemical, biological, and genetic science, combined and integrated with remote sensing and imaging technologies, will help elucidate narwhal evolution, biology, and adaptation. When integrated with Qaujimajatuqangit, “the Inuit way of knowing,” these studies help describe interesting biologic expressions of the narwhal.”

Research and Expedition Leader

Dr. Martin Nweeia, DMD, DDS

  • Global Fellow, Polar Institute, Wilson Center for International Scholars.
  • National Fellow, Explorers Club, World Center For Exploration
  • Fellow  of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society
  • Fellow of the International College of Dentists
  • Fellow of the American College of Dentists
  • Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy
  • Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry Internationale
  • Fellow of the American Academy of General Dentistry.

Dr. Martin Nweeia is principal investigator and expedition leader for Narwhal Tusk Research, The Narwhal Genome Initiative, Narwhal HoloLens Experience, and I2I Learning, a collaborative and integrative educational model of Inuit traditional knowledge and science. His research has transformed the understanding of nature’s most extraordinary tooth, and created a library of scientific information and Inuit knowledge that informs future researchers about this unusual Arctic marine mammal.

Museum Exhibits Around the World Feature
Discoveries From Narwhal Tusk Research


Smithsonian Exhibit, Narwhal: Revealing An Arctic Legend Attracts Over 15 Million Visitors

 Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology Supports And Features Tusk Sensory Findings

Katuaq, Cultural Center In Nuuk Hosts Exhibit Featuring Greenlandic Inughuit Knowledge And The Narwhal With Dr. Nweeia

Muséum National D’histoire Naturelle Features Narwhal Tusk Sensory Discovery From Narwhal Tusk Research

American Embassy In Canada Exhibit, “Eyes On The Arctic” Celebrates 150th Anniversary Of Canada And The Collaborative Science with Inuit Hunters And Narwhal Tusk Research

 Science North And The Canadian Museum Of Nature Exhibit “Arctic Voices” Features Tusk Sensory Function Discovery of Narwhal Tusk Research

Vancouver Aquarium Celebrates Narwhal Tusk Research Findings In Arctic Exhibit

Harvard Forum With Dr. Nweeia on Ocean Sustainability
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2023


The Innovation Centre at Dubai’s Electric and Water Authority Invite Dr. Nweeia to Present at COP 28.

Monaco Ocean Week Welcomes Dr. Nweeia at The Yacht Club of Monaco

UNESCO General Conference, Partnership Hub Unites Narwhal Tusk Research, The Explorers Club, and UNESCO.

Research Honors for Narwhal Tusk Research


Co-Editor Dr. Martin Nweeia takes competitive top prize for non-fiction books about the polar regions published in a two-year period.

Narwhal Tusk Research is featured and awarded top honors for the category “Natural History Short” for Dr. Nweeia and National Geographic.

The National Science Foundation awards Dr. Nweeia directing the Interactive Commons Team at Case Western Reserve University for this holographic experience.

A new educational science model integrating Inuit Knowledge and science receives recognition, and highlights presentations by Dr. Nweeia for the 150th Anniversary of Canada.

    Global Collaborators Join Narwhal Tusk Vision


    Transformative Research Firsts


    Directional Sound Recorded and Experienced

    Brain Monitoring on a Live Narwhal

    Reference Genome for the Narwhal

    Cell Line for Narwhal

    Anatomical Plate Series

    Documenting a True Albino Narwhal

    Discovery of the primary function of the tusk

    Odobenocetops and Narwhal Share Homologous Dental Tubules


    Narwhal Heartbeat Recorded in the Field.

    Inuit knowledge Library on Narwhal

    Understanding Unique Characteristics of Strength and Flexibility

    Cover Feature Publications


    1. New York Times, Cover Feature on Tusk Function

    2. Anatomical Record, Cover Feature on Tusk Microanatomy and Function

    5. Science, Cover Feature, Use of Zoonomia Genomes in Constructing Evolution 6. Mare Magazine, Cover Feature on Narwhal and Dr. Nweeia

    4. Nature, Cover Feature, on Zoonomia Genomes Including Narwhal

    3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Cover Feature on Zoonomia Genetics

    6. Mare Magazine, Cover Feature on Narwhal and Dr. Nweeia

    7. Arctic, Cover Feature on Educational Model Combining Inuit Knowledge and Science

    8. Wilson Center for International Scholars, Ground Truth Briefing on COVID Including Transmission Risk to Narwhal and Marine Mammals.

    Global Outreach 408 Million


    • Newspapers in 12 countries including the New York Times, 30.6 million
    • Documentaries from National Geographic, BBC, and French Discovery, 78.3 million
    • Online Estimates from Google Trends, 127.8 million
    • Radio Interviews, Including NPR, PRI, BBC, 7.2 million
    • Internet Blogs, Interviews, and Linked stories, 34,000
    • Publication and Published Research Sites, Including Nature, Science PNAS, Anatomical Record, Arctic, 1.4 million
    • Public Lectures, Books, TV Stories, Museum Visitors Including Curated Smithsonian Exhibit, 16.8 million
    • Social Media, Including Twitter or X, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, 107.5 million
    • Academic Collaborative Sites, Including Smithsonian, Harvard, Canadian Museum of Nature, Wilson Center, 38.4 million

    An Innovative Approach to Science Education,
    Integrating Inuit Knowledge and Science

    Isumaqatigingiq, "Thinking Together"

    Graphic Narwhal Novel Now In three Languages.