Title: Seeing below the surface: using new tools to study and conserve baleen whales in the Antarctic.
Abstract: The Antarctic Peninsula is warming faster than nearly any other region on the planet. Additionally, commercial whaling ventures in the Southern Ocean removed more than 2 million baleen whales during the 20th century. Currently, a commercial fishery for krill exists that may be in direct competition with baleen whales for food resources. In combination, these disturbance events have profoundly affected the Antarctic marine ecosystem and have unknown impacts on the cetacean community. In order to understand the biology, ecological role, and impacts of human disturbance on cetaceans, a suite of tagging and environmental sampling tools have been developed to allow scientists to quantify the underwater behavior of whales and provides the foundation for conservation measures. I will share insights from a number of studies and link these findings to ways in which scientists and policy makers can work together to mitigate human impacts.