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Dr Deborah Giles, Professor Darren Croft and Professor Sir Steve Smith met in Vancouver to discuss the relationship between the University of Exeter and the Center for Whale Research.

New partnership between Exeter and the Center for Whale Research

In Vancouver the Vice Chancellor met with Darren Croft, Professor of Animal Behaviour at Exeter, and Dr Deborah Giles, Research Director and Project Manager at the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Islands USA to talk about the work they have been doing and the importance of the relationship between the University of Exeter and the Center for Whale Research.

They shared in the excitement of a recent, successful crowdfunding campaign. They discussed the Research carried out by the CWR over the past 40 years and the involvement of Exeter. Darren and Giles shared insights on the impact the work is having now and its potential applications in the future.

"We are extremely excited about the partnership between the Center for Whale Research and the University of Exeter. The data that has been collected by the Center for Whale Research over the last 40 years is unique and incredibly valuable and by using this data we have been able to gain some incredible insights into the social lives of these amazing animals" said Darren

"From a population that has been listed as endangered in Canada since 2003 and in the United States since 2005, two critical questions have been highlighted - what is causing decreased reproduction and increased mortality"

"The major research priority for us is to collect new data that will allow us to record killer whale behavioral interactions. We will do this by using non-invasive un-manned aerial vehicles, drones, which will revolutionize our understanding of killer whale behaviour by getting a bird's-eye view of who interacts with whom and in what ways. With this information we can refine our analysis of population viability and future predictions for the health and survival of these amazing animals” said Giles.

Date: 10 November 2016

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