Current MORAES Project: 

Research Project Name Pending

We at MORAES are proud to announce a research collaboration with Dolphin Research Center (DRC). Located in Grassy Key, FL and representing the southernmost member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, DRC aims to utilize education and research to promote a balanced coexistence between marine mammals and humans within the environment. 

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. The goal is to study general marine mammology in South Florida associated with (but not limited to) microbiome work, virology, morphometry, metabolomics, and genetics.

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.

In addition to the MORAES team of Kirk Linaje (Principal Investigator), Stacy Assael, Shannon Jones, and TJ Morrell (Key Researchers), we are proud to introduce two incredibly passionate individuals who will be assisting us with this project.

                            Kaylie Anne Costa                                                                             Caitlin Hill

 

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