Multi-scale and Interdisciplinary Study of Humpbacks and Prey (MISHAP)
The MISHAP project seeks to elucidate the ecological role of a poorly studied krill predator, the humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP).
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Our project combines the expertise and research techniques of cetacean biologists/ecologists with zooplankton biologists and physical oceanographers.
Working together we:
- sample whale diving and feeding behavior using advanced tagging technology;
- quantify the extent and density of krill aggregations using traditional quantitative fisheries acoustics and net sampling;
- measure the density of other zooplankton in the water column with laser optical plankton counters;
- describe the water circulation patterns with ADCP and CTD in the areas where we are working with whales;
- and document the density of humpbacks as well as other krill predators (pinnipeds, sea birds) using established visual observation techniques.
More on MISHAP
Analyzing these various data streams also requires careful and thorough integration and visualization, which we accomplish by having other team members who are experts in geospatial ecology and data visualization.
By combining several techniques on multiple temporal and spatial scales we are working to understand the ecology and role of the humpback whale while putting it within the context of other krill predators.