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Science by Drone

Science by Drone

December 23, 2016

WHOI biologist Michael Moore is leading a collaborative project to study the health of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales using drones. SR3 researcher Holly Fearnbach (left) and NOAA researcher John Durban (right) fly the drone above the whales, taking high-resolution photographs and collecting samples of the whales’ blow. NOAA uses the photographs to assess each animal’s size and body condition, while WHOI microbiologist Amy Apprill (center) and postdoctoral scholar Carolyn Miller sequence genetic material in the blow samples to learn more about the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that make up the whale microbiome. (Photo by Véronique LaCapra, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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