Lecture to cover trends in body condition, growth and pregnancies of Southern Residents

Submitted by The Whale Museum.

Join us at The Whale Museum on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. for a lecture presented by Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach. The talk is FREE and open to the public.

In partnership, John and Holly have pioneered methods for studying the health of free-ranging whales and dolphins, including the use of aerial photographs to monitor the growth and body condition on Southern Resident killer whales over the past decade. In this talk John and Holly will outline several ongoing research projects and methods, particularly the use of drones to non-invasively assess whale health. Additionally, updates will be given on drone-based photography to infer the nutritional status of Southern Resident killer whales.

Dr. John Durban is a Senior Scientist with SR3: SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation and Research and a Senior Scientist with Southall Environmental Associates, following 17 years of leading cetacean health and life history research with NOAA. John began his research with Southern Resident killer whales as a teenager in the early 1990s, and much of his career has focused on the development of non-invasive photogrammetry methods for measuring growth and body condition of free-ranging whales. Together with Holly Fearnbach, he has pioneered the use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) for providing quantitative measurements of whale health support conservation actions.

Dr. Holly Fearnbach is the Marine Mammal Research Director for SR3: SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation and Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of marine life in the Pacific Northwest. Holly conducted Ph.D. studies on the use of aerial photogrammetry to measure trends in body size of Southern Resident killer whales, and has continued this research over the past decade to develop a time series of body condition measurements to track nutritional health over time.

For more information, call 360-378-4710 ext.30. The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales through education and research. To learn more visit whalemuseum.org.