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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Dr Wally Franklin

PhD, Southern Cross University

Bachelor of Commerce (Melbourne University) 1976
B.Sc (Graduate), University of New England 2002 (4 Units completed)

Research Summary

Dr Wally FranklinDr Franklin's research focus is the population dynamics and migratory interchange of the humpback whales in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. He is also a Director of The Oceania Project (see below). His research provided the first evidence that the humpback whales utilising Hervey Bay may be a sub-group of the eastern Australian (E1) humpback whale population and that the stopover may contribute to high rates of increase in abundance observed in Hervey Bay compared to other populations. Humpback whales from Hervey Bay are shown to use complex migratory pathways to and from Antarctic feeding areas, are involved in low levels of migratory interchange with nearby populations and, his research provided the first evidence that eastern Australian humpbacks use the southern waters of New Zealand en-route to and from Antarctic feeding areas. His work is making a direct contribution to the management and conservation of the eastern Australian humpback whales.

Background/Interests

Wally has been involved in humpback whale research for 20 years and has undertaken the management and marine operations of The Oceania Project since its inception in 1988. With Trish Franklin, he is Co-Principal Investigator on The Oceania Project's long-term study of humpback whales in Hervey Bay.

Prior to 1988 Wally was a career Executive in the Travel and Transport Industry for 23 years. In 1980, together with Trish Franklin, he established a management and marketing company - Boutu Enterprise Pty Ltd - to undertake unique and unusual projects. Boutu Enterprise managed the highly successful $14 million Bicentennial Project, the Re-enactment of the First Fleet. The controversial $14 million project was awarded joint Bicentennial event of 1988, with Brisbane's World Expo 88, by Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1989. The story of project is recounted in a recent book.

Grants and Funding

The Oceania Project - Annual Whale Research Expeditions, Hervey Bay: funding generated from participating Interns ($3.2 million) 1989-2013.

International Fund for Animal Welfare Grants ($205,000); 2005-2012.

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LP0562517). Ageing wild vertebrates from their DNA: An investigation using humpback whales. (The Oceania Project (Trish and Wally Franklin), Industry Partners: 2005-2008 ($438,000).

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ($25,000) 1996.

Publications

Thesis

Franklin, W. (2015) Abundance, population dynamics, reproduction, rates of population increase and migration linkages of eastern Australian humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) utilising Hervey Bay, Queensland, PhD Thesis, Southern Cross University. view and download thesis

Refereed Citations

Franklin, W., T. Franklin, N. Gibbs, S. Childerhouse, C. Garrigue, R. Constantine, L. Brooks, D. Burns, D. Paton, M. M. Poole, N. Hauser, M. Donoghue, K. Russell, D. K. Mattila, J. Robbins, M. Anderson, C. Olavarria, J. Jackson, M. Noad, P. Harrison, P. Baverstock, R. Leaper, S. C. Baker, and P. Clapham. 2014. Photo-identification confirms that humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from eastern Australia migrate past New Zealand but indicates low levels of interchange with breeding grounds of Oceania. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 14 (1): 133-140.

Burns, D., Brooks, L., Harrison, P., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Paton, D. and Clapham, P., 2014. Migratory movements of individual humpback whales photographed off the eastern coast of Australia. Marine Mammal Science. 10.1111/mms.12057. 30, 562-578.

Constantine, R., Steel, D., Allen, J., Anderson, M., Andrews, O., Baker, C.S., Beeman, P., Burns, D., Charrassin, J.-B., Childerhouse, S., Double, M., Ensor, P., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Gales, N., Garrigue, C., Gibbs, N., Harrison, P., Hauser, N., Hutsel, A., Jenner, C., Jenner, M.-N., Kaufman, G., Macie, A., Mattila, D., Olavarría, C., Oosterman, A., Paton, D., Poole, M., Robbins, J., Schmitt, N., Stevick, P., Tagarino, A., Thompson, K. and Ward, J., 2014. Remote Antarctic feeding ground important for east Australian humpback whales. Marine Biology. 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-014-2401-2.

Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Brooks, L., Gibbs, N., Childerhouse, S., Smith, F., Burns, D., Paton, D., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R., Poole, M.M., Hauser, N., Donoghue, M., Russell, K., Mattila, D.K., Robbins, J., Oosterman, A., Leaper, R., Harrison, P., Baker, S.C. and Clapham, P., 2012. Antarctic waters (Area V) near the Balleny Islands are a summer feeding area for some Eastern Australian (E (i) breeding group) Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. 12, 321-327.

Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Brooks, L., Harrison, P., Baverstock, P. and Clapham, P., 2011. Seasonal changes in pod characteristics of eastern Australian humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), Hervey Bay 1992-2005. Marine Mammal Science, 27(3): E134-E152 (July 2011) ©2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00430.x.

Garrigue, C., Franklin, T., Constantine, R., Russell, K., burns, D., Poole, M., Paton, D., Hauser, N., Oremus, M., Childerhouse, S., Mattila, D., Gibbs, N., Franklin, W., Robbins, J., Clapham, P. and Baker, C.S., 2011. First assessment of interchange of humpback whales between Oceania and the east coast of Australia. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management (Special Issue) 3. 269-274.

Paton, D.A., Brooks, L., Burns, D., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Harrison, P. and Baverstock, P., 2011. First abundance estimate of east coast Australian humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) utilising mark-recapture analysis and multi-point sampling. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management (Special Issue) 3. 253-259.

Clapham, P., Mikhalev, Y., Franklin, W., Paton, D., Baker, S., Ivashchenko, Y.V. and Brownell, R.L.J., 2009. Catches of Humpback Whales by the Soviet Union and Other Nations in the Southern Ocean, 1947-1973. Marine Fisheries Review. 71 (1), 39-43.

Clapham, P., W. Franklin, D. Paton, C. S. Baker, Y. V. Ivashchenko, and R. L. Brownell. 2009. Soviet and other catches of humpback whales in the Southern Ocean, 1947-1973. MFR. pp 1-14.

The following papers have also been presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission

Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Brooks, L., Gibbs, N., Childerhouse, S., Smith, F., Burns, D., Paton, D., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R., Poole, M.M., Hauser, N., Donoghue, M., Russell, K., Mattila, D.K., Robbins, J., Oosterman, A., Leaper, R., Baker, C.S. and Clapham, P., 2008b. Migratory movements of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) between eastern Australia and the Balleny Islands, Antarctica, confirmed by photo-identification. IWC Scientific Committee SC/60/SH2. 12pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this Journal].

Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Brooks, L., Gibbs, N., Childerhouse, S., Smith, F., Burns, D., Paton, D., Garrigue, C., Constantine, R., Poole, M.M., Hauser, N., Donoghue, M., Russell, K., Mattila, D.K., Robbins, J., Oosterman, A., Leaper, R., Baker, C.S. and Clapham, P., 2008c. Eastern Australia (E1 breeding grounds) may be a wintering destination for Area V Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrating through New Zealand waters. IWC Scientific Committee SC/60/SH3.14pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this Journal].

Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Brooks, L., Jenner, C., Jenner, M., Gonçalves, L., Leaper, R., Brooks, L. and Clapham, P., 2008a. Photo-identification comparison of humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) flukes from Antarctic Area IV with Western and Eastern Australian fluke catalogues Paper SC/60/SH1 presented to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee. 13pp. (unpublished) [available from the office of this Journal].

Anderson, M., Steel, D., Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Paton, D., Burns, D., Harrison, P., Baverstock, P.R., Garrigue, C., Olavarria, C., Poole, M.M., Hauser, N., Constantine, R., Theile, D., Clapham, P., Donoghue, M. and Baker, C.S., 2010. Microsatellite genotype matches of eastern Australian humpback whales to Area V feeding and breeding grounds. Paper SC/62/SH7 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. 11pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this Journal].

Constantine, R., J. Allen, P. Beeman, D. Burns, S. Childerhouse, M. C. Double, P. Ensor, T. Franklin, W. Franklin, N. Gales, C. Garrigue, E. Gates, N. Gibbs, A. Hutsel, C. Jenner, M. Jenner, G. Kaufman, A. Macie, D. K. Mattila, A. Oosterman, D. Paton, J. Robbins, P. Stevick, N. Schmitt, A. Tagarino and Thompson, K., 2011. Comprehensive photo-identification matching of Antarctic Area V humpback whales. Report (SC/63/SH16) to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, Tromso, Norway. 11pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this journal].

Garrigue, C., Franklin, T., Russell, K., Burns, D., Poole, M., Paton, D., Hauser, N., Oremus, M., Constantine, R., Childerhouse, S., Mattila, D., Gibbs, N., Franklin, W., Robbins, J., Clapham, P. and Baker, C.S., 2007. First assessment of interchange of humpback whales between Oceania and the east coast of Australia. IWC Scientific Committee SC/59/SH15. 9pp. (unpublished).[available from the office of this Journal].Jackson, J.A., Anderson, M., Steel, D.S., Brooks, L., Baverstock, P., Burns, D., Clapham, P., Constantine, R., Franklin, W., Franklin, T., Garrigue, C., Hauser, N., Paton, D., Poole, M.M. and Baker, S.C., 2012. Multistate measurements of genotype interchange between East Australia and Oceania (IWC breeding sub-stocks E1, E2, E3 and F2) between 1999 and 2004. Paper SC/64/SH22 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. 16pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this journal].

Kaufman, G., Douglas Coughran, Judy M. Allen, Daniel Burns, Chris Burton, Cristina Castro, Simon Childerhouse, Rochelle Constantine, Trish Franklin, Wally Franklin, Paul Forestell, Rosemary Gales, Claire Garrigue, Nadine Gibbs, Curt Jenner, David Paton, Michael Noad, Jooke Robbins, Elisabeth Slooten, Franz Smith and Stevick, P., 2011. Photographic Evidence of Interchange Between East Australia (BS E-1) and West Australia (BS - D) Humpback Whale Breeding Populations. Paper SC63/SH11 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. 16pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this journal].

Paton, D.A., Brooks, L., Burns, D., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Harrison, P. and Baverstock, P., 2006. First abundance estimate of east coast Australian humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) utilising mark-recapture analysis and multi-point sampling. IWC Scientific Committee SC/A06/HW32. 11pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this Journal].

Steel, D., N. Schmitt, M. Anderson, D. Burns, S. Childerhouse, R. Constantine, T. Franklin, W. Franklin, N. Gales, C. Garrigue, N. Gibb, N. Hauser, D. Mattila, C. Olavarria, D. Paton, M. Poole, J. Robbins, J. Ward, P. Harrison, P. Baverstock, M. Double, and C. S. Baker. 2011. Initial genotype matching of humpback whales from the 2010 Australia/New Zealand Antarctic Whale Expedition (Area V) to Australia and the South Pacific. Paper SC/63/SH10 presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. 8pp. (unpublished). [available from the office of this journal].

Other Publications and Posters

Garrigue, C., Baker, C.S., Burns, D., Childerhouse, S., Clapham, P., Constantine, R., Donoghue, M., Franklin, T., Franklin, W., Gibbs, N., Hauser, N., Madon, B., Mattila, D., Russell, K., Oremus, M., Paton, D., Poole, M., Robbins, J. and Cétacés, O., 2007. Cape Town Poster: Isolation and interchange among humpback whales on breeding grounds and migratory corridors of the South Pacific, 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, Opération Cétacés, Cape Town, South Africa.

Moss, A., Franklin, W. and Franklin, T., 2004. Long-term monitoring of chlorophyll-a in Hervey Bay, Queensland by The Oceania Project 1993-2003. Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.

Moss, A., Kocovshi, J., Franklin, W. and Franklin, T., 1998. Hervey Bay Report: Chlorophyll-a sampling in Hervey Bay by The Oceania Project 1993-1997. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage - Environmental Technical Report No. 23.

Collaborative Projects

ARC-Linkage Grant - Research Project: "Ageing wild vertebrates from their DNA; an investigation using Humpback Whales as an example". Industry Partners: IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), The Oceania Project and Southern Cross University. The Oceania Project sampled sloughed skin from humpback whales in Hervey Bay for the project.

South Pacific Whale Research Consortium:

  • Eastern Australia/Oceania fluke Matching 1999-2004 to investigate migratory interchange, population structure and estimation of abundance. (Garrigue et al. 2007, Garrigue et al. 2011)
  • Eastern Australia/Oceania and Antarctica fluke matching. (Constantine et al. 2014)
  • Genotype matching. (Anderson et al. 2010, Steel et al. 2011)

Dr Phil Clapham: Soviet commercial whaling catches. (Clapham et al. 2005 and 2009) Andrew Moss, Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage, Environment Division: Long-term assessment of eutrophic conditions in the Hervey Bay Marine Park, Queensland. Stage I & II (1993-2003) (Moss et al. 1997 and 2004).

Dr Nick Gales and Colleagues, Australian Antarctic Division: DNA Analysis of humpback whale faeces to investigate opportunistic feeding by humpback whales in Hervey Bay.

Dan Burns & David Paton, Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre: Photo-identification collaboration using data from Byron Bay, Ballina and Hervey Bay. Abundance estimate (Paton et al. 2006 and 2011), Migratory movements (Burns et al. 2014)

Conferences, Symposiums and Meetings

Conference - Invited Participant and Presentation:
Australian Government, Department of the Environment & Heritage: The National Whale and Dolphin Research Conference, 21-22 February, Adelaide, South Australia. Presentation: Progress Report on paper in preparation 'Group characteristics of Eastern Australian Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Hervey Bay 1992-2005' (Franklin et al. 2011).

Poster: "Isolation and interchange among humpback whales on breeding grounds and migratory corridors of the South Pacific". 2007. C. Garrigue; C.S. Baker; D. Burns; S. Childerhouse; P. Clapham; R. Constantine; M. Donoghue; T. Franklin; W. Franklin; N. Gibbs; N. Hauser; B. Madon; D. Mattila; K. Russell; M. Oremus; D. Paton; M. Poole; J. Robbins. 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Cape Town South Africa 29 November - 3rd December 2007.

Symposium - Invited Participant and Paper:
IWC Scientific Committee: Comprehensive Assessment of Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whales. Held at Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart, Tasmania. April 3-7, 2006. Paper presented: Paton et al. (2006). Symposium on Wildlife and Tourism. Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference 1998, Held at UQ Gatton. Paper presented: Franklin & Franklin (1988).

Meetings - Invited Participant and Presentation

Annual Meeting of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (2008). 5-8 February, Auckland, New Zealand.
Presentation: Report on Humpback Research Hervey Bay 2007 field season and Progress meeting on Eastern Australia/Oceania Photo-ID fluke matching project and Balleny Islands Photo-ID matching project. (Franklin et al. 2008b).

Annual Meeting of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (2007). 29 January - 2 February, Auckland, New Zealand.

Presentation: Report on Humpback Research Hervey Bay 2006 field season and Progress meeting on Eastern Australia; Oceania Photo-ID fluke matching project.

Annual Meeting of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (2006). 8-12 February, Auckland, New Zealand.
Presentation: Report on Humpback Research Hervey Bay 2005 field season.

Annual Meeting of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (2004). 2-6 April, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia.
Presentation: Report on Humpback Research Hervey Bay 2003 field season.

Annual Meeting of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (2003). 13-17 February, Auckland, New Zealand.
Presentation: Report on Humpback Research Hervey Bay 2002 field season.

Workshops & Seminars

Workshop - Invited Participant and Paper:
Australian Nature Conservation Agency Workshop: Encounters with Whales 1995. Hervey Bay, Queensland, 26-30 July 1995. (Trish Franklin, 1996).

IFAW Workshop: The Scientific Aspects of Managing Whale Watching, Montecastello di Vibio, Italy, 30th March-4th April 1995. (Trish Franklin, 1995).

Workshop - Invited Participant and Presentation:
Eastern Australia-Oceania Photo-ID fluke Matching Workshop. Noumea, 28th November - 1st December 2006. South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (SPWRC) and Members of the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre (SCUWRC).

Australian Humpback Whale Photo-Identification Workshop. Lismore, NSW, Australia, 5-7 May 2004. Australian Government, Department of Environment & Heritage (DEH) and Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre (SCUWRC).

Workshop - Invited Participant and Poster: 'The social and ecological significance of Hervey Bay for Area V Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)'. Presented at: Conserving Whales and Dolphins in Australian Waters: National Research Partnerships Workshop. Ballina, NSW - 2 to 4 May 2004. Australian Government, Department of Environment & Heritage (DEH) and Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre (SCUWRC).

Workshop - Invited Participant:
 Marine Mammal Strandings in Australia: Developing a National Approach. Manly, Sydney, Australia, 18-19 May 2004. Australian Government, Department of Environment & Heritage (DEH) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Seminar - Invited Participant, Poster and Presentation:
Poster & Presentation title: 'The social and ecological significance of Hervey Bay for Area V Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)'. Designated Areas of Research Seminar (DOARS). Byron Bay Beach Resort, Byron Bay; 3rd-4th November 2004. Southern Cross University Graduate Research C.

College Seminar - Invited Participant: 
ANZECC Humpback Whale Research & Conservation Seminar - Brisbane 23-25 October 1998. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage (QEPA). Draft Proceedings & Appendices published January 1999 by QEPA.

Appointments, Memberships & Affiliations

  • President, Director & Founder of The Oceania Project. A not-for-profit research & education organisation, established in 1988, dedicated to raising awareness about whales, dolphins and the oceans. Website: oceania.org.au
  • Member of The Society for Marine Mammalogy, USA (SMM).
  • Founding member of Whale and Dolphin Watch Australia Inc. (WADWA). The National Incorporated Association of Australian Commercial Whale-watchers and part of the: International Alliance of Commercial Whale-watchers.
  • Member of Executive Board and Scientific Adviser to Whale and Dolphin Watch Australia Inc. (WADWA).
  • Affiliate of The South Pacific Whale Research Consortium (SPWRC).
  • Member of The Australian Humpback Whale Research Group (AHWRG).