The Whitehead Lab is based out of the Dalhousie University Department of Biology (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Since its inception in 1987, the Whitehead Lab has been home to over 75 postdoctoral, Ph.D., M.Sc., and undergraduate students. We primarily conduct conservation-based research on the behavior, ecology, and population biology of three cetacean species: sperm whales, northern bottlenose whales, and long-finned pilot whales. We have ongoing research projects on sperm whales in the eastern Pacific (since 1985) and Atlantic (since 2004), on northern bottlenose whales off Nova Scotia (since 1998), and on pilot whales off Nova Scotia (since 1998). We spend periods of weeks at sea on board ocean-going sailing boats collecting acoustic, visual, photographic, genetic, and oceanographic data. While Whitehead Lab students mostly work with these species, we sometimes carry out projects on other cetaceans, such as narwhals and dolphins. Particular interests are exploring the movements, social systems (who goes around with whom, and for how long), and cultures (who learns what from whom, and how they pass it on) of whales, and conserving these animals and their habitats in the face of mounting human threats.
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