Our research program will focus on the biology of humpback whales, looking at all the aspects from behaviour, distribution, abundance, acoustics and conservation. This volunteer program is built around Dr Pierre Gallego’s PhD which looks at genetics, pollutants and stable isotopes in order to identify whales feeding in different areas of Antarctica within the same breeding ground in Mozambique. Biopsies are an important aspect of whale conservation nowadays more than ever, as it enables us to get information on pollutants, genetics, feeding ecology, and since a few years also on the age of the sampled whale. This information on age is the most important criteria
against the Japanese so-called “scientific whaling” which states that the only remaining reason to kill whales during the lethal sampling carried out by Japan in Antarctica and the North-Pacific Ocean is that you can only determine the age of whales by killing them. Science has proved this wrong and we are committed to publish as many papers as needed to stop this misbelief.

By the end of the two-week volunteer program, you will have gained insight into what it really means to do research with megafauna in the field, and what can be achieved with this research to reach conservation goals. You will have taken part in every aspect of our research and will have gained knowledge about how we transform this scientific data into real conservation efforts. You will be an integral part of our young research team and will witness the amazing reproductive season of these truly unique whales, which carry out the longest yearly migration in the mammalian kingdom. This all takes place in a wonderful setting, the beautiful coast of Mozambique.