Public talk: Drones and tags unveil whale mysteries

March 24, 2017

An image of a southern right whale and her white calf taken by a drone

An image of a southern right whale and her white calf taken by a drone (Pic: Fredrik Christiansen)

The high tech wonders of how drones and tags are used in whale research will be presented in a free public lecture at Murdoch on Monday, 27 March.

Professor Lars Bejder, the Director of Murdoch University’s Cetacean Research Unit, will explain how this technology is helping to conserve these populations.

His presentation, entitled Solving whale mysteries using tags and drones, takes place in the Hill Lecture Theatre on Murdoch’s Perth Campus, from 6pm.

“The ability to monitor these animals using non-invasive research tools provides an entirely new perspective,” Professor Bejder said.

“The information we are collecting is providing fascinating new insights on their behavioural ecology and can inform conservation strategies on how to minimise human impact on these incredible animals.”

Professor Bejder will show some of the extraordinary footage of whale populations in the Exmouth Gulf (humpback whales), the Head of Bight (southern right whales), off the coast of Augusta (southern right whales) and Mexico (gray whales).

He will explain how the researchers can study weight loss throughout the season, and what that means for whale populations. He will demonstrate the difficulties of tagging and unveil new discoveries of whales diving into the deep.

Professor Bejder’s lecture is the latest in the Undercover lecture series, free talks by Murdoch researchers which tackle common misconceptions and reveal interesting facts about a diverse range of topics investigated at the University.

To register for Professor Bejder’s talk, click here.

To view what’s coming up in the series and register for those lectures, click here.

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