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We at MORAES are proud to announce our Cetacean Aerial Survey Project (CASP) in collaboration with Dolphin Research Center (DRC). Located in Grassy Key, FL, DRC is a non-profit facility that aims to utilize education and research to promote a balanced coexistence between marine mammals and humans within the environment.

Cetacean Aerial Survey Project

During CASP training with a UAV (drone) at Dolphin Research Center in Key Largo

DRC has graciously opened their doors (or more accurately their lagoons) to allow MORAES to begin a research project focused on collecting marine mammal data through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or more commonly referred to as, drones. With the incorporation of UAVs into the field of researching marine mammals, countless possibilities can now be considered as a result of their versatility, and the scope of data collection can now be broadened dramatically. With the help of DRC and their resident population of bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus located within their facility, we at MORAES can focus our efforts on increasing the project's efficiency before hopefully expanding our efforts into wild bottlenose dolphin populations. study general marine mammology in South Florida associated with (but not limited to) microbiome work, virology, morphometry, metabolomics, and genetics.

Drone Pillot Header
During CASP training with a UAV (drone) at Dolphin Research Center in Key Largo

This partnership between DRC and MORAES is an excellent example of two organizations working together toward one common goal: conservation. Additionally, by standardizing research methods for non-invasive data collection techniques with UAVs, we hope to promote advances in the marine mammal conservation community and provide DRC with imperative data in the fields of animal husbandry, alternative data collection methods, conservational efforts, and educational outreach.

Cetacean Aerial Survey Project Intern Assisting in Field Research


In addition to the MORAES team with Kirk Linaje as Principal Investigator, we are proud to introduce three incredibly passionate individuals who are assisting us with this project.

Dolphin, as part of MORAEA logo
Drone Pilot

Need a Licensed Drone Pilot?

MORAES retains a certified FAA Remote Pilot ready to assist with other marine science projects!

Under Federal Aviation Administration Remote Pilot Certificate #4790253, MORAES staff currently utilizes the DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter, equipped with a FOV 94 degrees, 20 mm lens and 3-axis stabilizing gimbal, for our CASP project in the Keys. 


If you're in need of a drone pilot, feel free to contact us directly at for pricing, availability, etc.

CASP Drone, DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter
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