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Partners

 M Mendez, Ajit Subramaniam

Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, and Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History

Synopsis

Oceanographic variables related mainly to primary productivity have been studied in relation to cetacean occurrence for a variety of species worldwide. However, there remains to be evaluated whether the same oceanographic conditions play an important role on cetacean dispersal and therefore on population structure. Understanding the relationship between these two issues is not only an important step towards a greater understanding of the marine systems, but can also provide a rigorous scientific basis for the designation of marine protected areas taking into consideration relevant demographic and environmental factors for cetaceans.

I evaluated these issues through a coupled genetic-oceanographic approach for Franciscana dolphins at the southern portion of their distribution range, in Argentina, and for humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean.

Part of this work is now published in Molecular Ecology and in Heredity .