Determining habitat use of small cetaceans in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

Cetaceans and pinnipeds in the North West Atlantic Ocean have been put at risk by human imposed threats, such as the shipping industry, for many years. We also have limited knowledge of the whereabouts of these animals within this region.

 

My honours thesis will study the spatial and temporal distributions of cetaceans and pinnipeds in the North West Atlantic Ocean. An automated survey method, which uses machine learning techniques, will be used to detect and identify marine mammals in aerial and satellite imagery of the study area. I aim to use the spatial and temporal movement patterns acquired from this methodology and overlay them with human-use patterns (e.g., shipping activity) to determine the risk of interaction between human activities and marine mammals. This research intends to not only fill the existing gap of knowledge surrounding marine mammal distributions in the North West Atlantic Ocean, but to also improve our understanding of how human pressures impact cetaceans and pinnipeds in the North West Atlantic Ocean. This research is a component of the “Whales From Space” project led by PhD Candidate, Olivia Pisano.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Hannah Solway

Honour’s Student

Dalhousie University

Email: hannah.solway@gmail.com

Phone: +1 902 494 2478 (office)

SUPERVISOR

Dr. Boris Worm (Dalhousie University) Canada

TYPE/STATUS OF PROJECT

Scientific research (In progress)

Contact Information
Principal Investigator
Hannah Solway
Honour’s Student
Biology Department Dalhousie University
1459 Oxford St.
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Canada
Supervisor
Boris Worm
Professor
Biology Department Dalhousie University
1355 Oxford St.
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Canada