Ivanhoe Sea Safaris cooperate on the scientific project with scientist to protect our beloved whales. The project we participate on is focused on the population and conservation genetics of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) in South Africa. Using modern approaches of population and landscape genetics, we aim to get information about details of population structure, the role of migration and gene flow, drift and other factors of population biology of the species and using metabarcoding analyse whale faeces to study whale diet in nursery grounds. One part of the project is focused on fitness prediction among the populations not only with the help of neutral genetic markers, but also adaptive variation, like TLR genes. The use of matrilineal and biparental markers will be used for molecular identification of every individual, also it will enable us to study the level of philopatry and areal behaviour of population. All results about the genetic structure and spatial ecology are interpreted also considering paradigms of conservation genetics.
To get samples for the DNA extraction, Ivanhoe Sea Safari participates in the collection of the non-invasive samples like sloughed skin or whale scat – it is called “citizen science”. This kind of collection also plays important role in public environmental education. Without this kind of sampling, the project would not be covered with enough samples.
For more information, please visit www.srw-project.webnode.cz.
The Research Team:
Prof. Pavel Hulva, Ph.D.
Molecular biologist, zoologist and conservation biologist
Petra Neveceralova, M.Sc.
Jason Keith Stafford
Ivanhoe Sea Safaris
Roman Vodicka, DVM, Ph.D.
Veterinary doctor and conservationist