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Patagonia blue whale research

On the Lookout

WHOI researcher and engineer Alex Bocconcelli searched for endangered blue whales off southern Chile earlier this year. Bocconcelli led a team that used temporary suction-cup tags equipped with sensors to track whales' diving behavior. The multiyear project, a collaboration with the Chilean nonprofit Fundación MERI, also involves taking aerial drone photographs of the whales to assess their body condition and using passive acoustic monitoring to estimate their abundance. Acoustic oceanographer Joe Warren, an MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate who is now a scientist at Stony Brook, led another component of the project to map the distribution of the whales' zooplankton prey. (Photo courtesy of Dani Casado)


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