Whale and Dolphin Research
The Heithaus lab has been working on dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia and the coastal Everglades. During his time with National Geographic, Mike helped other scientists by deploying “Crittercam” on humpback whales, pilot whales, false killer whales, and bowhead whales. Recently, the lab began a study of deep-diving species in the Caribbean.
Whales and Dolphins of Guadeloupe
In 2014, the lab initiated a study of sperm whales and other cetaceans offshore of the west coast of Guadeloupe in the Carribean. In collaboration with SPAW-RAC, and funded by the Total Foundation (France), we are using animal-borne video cameras developed by Exeye Ltd and biopsy sampling to study the behavior of deep-diving species. From the biopsy samples, we can measure contaminant loads, conduct genetic s
tudies, and analyze the chemical composition (stable isotopes) of skin and blubber. Together with the behavioral data from the video cameras we will be able to understand foraging behavior and patterns and potential threats to a variety of species, especially sperm whales. We also will be developing educational activities including video projects for students.
For a daily log of our 2014 and 2016 expeditions, visit the Lab Blog! And stayed tuned for two video-based projects for use in K-12 classrooms!