Position: Research Coordinator and General Project Manager for the Atlantic Whale Foundation. Studying part time for an MPhil
My principal research interests lie in the field of Marine Mammals, specifically the behaviour, biology and ecology of cetaceans. I am currently researching the social affiliations of Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) off the south west coast of Tenerife
My Research aims, are to:
- Determine residency patterns for the population of short finned-pilot whales.
- Identify home ranges of family pods, seeing if this changes over time.
- Investigate individual associations between short-finned pilot whales.
- Collaborate with other researchers studying the short-finned pilot whales around the world to determine their movement from the Canarian waters.
This will be done by:
- Using local whale and dolphin watching boats as a platform to study the cetaceans.
- Collecting data on behaviour, position, weather and pod composition whilst also taking photographs of dorsal fins and other distinguishing features (scars, nicks, growths etc).
- These photographs are used to identify individual pilot whale, which requires the use of a combination of software and manual techniques. Association matrices between individuals can then be formulated.
Ultimately, by the end of my study I would like to be able to describe the movement of the short-finned pilot whale, for not only the resident population of pilot whales, but also those individuals that are transient and only spend a few months of the year in the ocean of the South West coast of Tenerife.