Diagnosing Leviathan: Adventures of a Whale Veterinarian

THU, JUN 9, 2016 (54:46)

In the late 1990s, the number of calves born to highly endangered North Atlantic right whales plummeted, declining to only 1 calf in 2000. Seeking to understand why right whales were not having more calves, research veterinarian Dr. Rosalind "Roz" Rolland developed a variety of new ways to study health and reproduction in 50-ton whales in the wild.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, Dr. Rolland has pioneered methods for measuring an array of hormones in whales using novel samples including feces, respiratory vapor, and baleen. She has overseen the creation of an approach to monitoring whale health using photographs, and studied red tides and disease. Her research has led to many adventures including an expedition to the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands, and training as a scent detection dog handler. Dr. Rolland presents her work on whale health and what whales tell us about ocean health, including some of her adventures along the way.

(Photo: Flickr/Penn State, image cropped)

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