Humpback Whale researchers have successful start at SCMDC

humpback whale

Kylie Owen observes feeding humpback behaviour

Kylie Owen, the PhD student studying humpback whales in the area has had a very successful start to her research project.  Since starting work on Monday with her colleagues Dave Donnelly and Scott Sheahan, Kylie has managed to secure 8 biopsy samples from feeding humpbacks. She said the whales were being ‘very co-operative’ with one spy-hopping so close this morning that she could see down its throat.

The team are working off the research vessel aptly named “Krillseeker” and were also able to collect a sample of krill – so thick you can’t see through it.  They also have land-based volunteers situated at Ben Boyd Tower, north of Eden,  to look for the humpbacks and then alert Kylie on board the boat.

Land based observation deck

Kylie is using the Eden Marine Laboratory in the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre to process her samples and store her gear.  Later this week she will start using the special ‘Dtag’ to secure to whales for up to 2 hours and collect even more data.

 

To follow Kylie’s research on Facebook click on this link
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Surfah

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