Editors’ Select Series Presentation: Population genomic structure of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Australian and New Zealand waters

The SMM Seminar Editor’s Select Series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. The SMM created this series to give scientists and citizens around the world a chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions. All are welcome.

Guest, Isabella Reeves of Flinders University presents: “Population genomic structure of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Australian and New Zealand waters

August 19, 2021 6-7:30 pm PDT (1-2:30 AM GMT August 20; 10:30 am-12 pm ASCT (August 20)
Online. Free to attend. 

About this talk:
In Australasia, seasonal killer whale aggregations have been recently discovered and they have known to also reside year-round in New Zealand waters. However, there is currently limited information available about the species in these regions and therefore effective conservation management strategies are lacking. Here, we present the first study on the number of killer whale populations and their connectivity in Australasia using DNA. We discovered a minimum of three populations of killer whales, one in tropical and a second in temperate Western Australia, and a third in New Zealand. They each have distinct female-driven societies and appear to have little movement between them with low number of breeders. These findings can assist conservation management of these animals in the region.

About the presenter:
Isabella is currently a PhD Candidate in the Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab and the Molecular Ecology Lab at Flinders University in South Australia. She has over five years of experience researching cetaceans, leading her to obtain a skillset predominantly in photo-identification methods and using genetics to understand population-level questions for conservation. Her research now focusses on using genetics to broadly understand cetacean evolution, with a focus on Australasian killer whales.

Missed a presentation or want to share this series with a friend? All previous Editors’ Select  presentations are recorded and archived on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUc78IynQlubS2DVS1VZoplf_t42-yZOO

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