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The Oceania Project's
Whale Research Expeditions
in Hervey Bay: 1989-2013


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| Photo-Identification | Genetic Data | Collaboration | DNA Analysis | Habitat Monitoring |

Integration of Photo-Identification & Genetic Data
in collaboation with SCU


This is a long term study commenced in 2000.

It is being undertaken in collaboration with Professor Peter Harrison and Dr Megan Anderson of the Southern Cross University Whale Research Group at Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW.

'Sloughed skin' falls naturally from the humpback whales and is collected from the Expedition vessel using a seive on a long pole. About 1600 samples were colledted between the years 2000 and 2008

DNA is extracted from the skin enabling genetic analysis of individual whales and investigation of populations

The 'genetic profile' of individual whales is combined with the long term Photo-identification data obtained by Dr Trish Franklin and compiled into an integrated Photo-identification-Genetic database.

Dr Megan Anderson has utlised some of the Hervey Bay DNA samples to study Genetic connectivity within Eastern Australian humpback whales and their relationship to adjacent South Pacific and Indian Ocean stocks, see: Anderson 2013

Also in conjunction with scientist from the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium the genetic data is being used to investigate migratory interchange of Humpbacks whales within and between Pacific breeding and feeding areas, see:

Anderson et al. 2010

Jennifer Prerau of IFAW with skin seive

Intern Jennifer Prerau of IFAW Australia shows humpback 'sloughed skin' successfully collected with a 'skin pole' aboard the 2003 Expedition.


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