Northern Beaches environmental group Living Ocean has seen a long-term research effort rewarded with the offer of a full partnership with several international universities investigating climate change.
Since 2004 Living Ocean research volunteers under government licence have put to sea tracking the humpback whales that migrate annually along our coast. A huge database has been amassed, drawing the attention of a consortium of Australian and South African universities modelling the effects of climate change on southern hemisphere humpback whales. These whales are known to have a significant impact on the health of our oceans.
Dr Olaf Meynecke, Research Fellow at Griffith University Research & Project Management Whales & Climate,said, ‘We are excited that Living Ocean joins our international research project on whales and climate. Their detailed, long term data will help with the development of models to forecast the consequences of climate change on humpback whales for the east coast of Australia. We are very much looking forward to our collaboration’.
Living Ocean’s research arm focuses on citizen science programs designed by universities and carried out by community volunteers. Bill Fulton, its head of research, recalled standing on a headland in 2003 watching whales pass by and wondering what influenced the paths they chose. “I knew this data would turn out to be useful, but never dreamt it would cast light on climate change, an existential threat to life on earth”, he said.
Robbi Newman, President, Living Ocean
+61 410 374 333
Dr Olaf Meynicke
Research Fellow, Griffith University
+61 423 115 503