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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Silje Vindenes

Silje Vindenes MSc candidate

Research Summary

Silje completed a Bachelor in Science majoring in marine biology at Griffith University in South-East Queensland. She's currently an MSc candidate at Southern Cross University. Her research project aims to investigate the ecology of migrating humpback whales along a highly urbanised coastline. It will address the knowledge gaps on how the Gold Coast coastline in South-East Queensland is utilised by humpback whales during both the northern and southern migration. It is anticipated that this study will have important implications for both management and conservation of humpback whales within the region, as the data will form a baseline against which future changes can be measured.

Silje collected her data and set up the research project as part of her employment with Whale Watch Australia Pty Ltd (trading as Sea World Whale Watch) from 2008 to 2013. Whale Watch Australia is an established eco-tourism operator specialising in marine nature tourism. Silje has four years experience in vessel-based surveys of migrating humpback whales and has developed excellent skills in photo-identification. The Gold Coast fluke catalogue, which was created as part of Silje's research project using the computerised fluke-matching software Fluke Matcher, consists of over 600 whales. This catalogue will be compared with fluke catalogues from other regions to examine possible matches and life history records. Statistical analyses from her data collection will focus on pod composition, pod travel direction and behaviour. Silje coordinated, trained and supervised a number of volunteer assistants throughout her fieldwork with Whale Watch Australia. Silje is a member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

Principal supervisor: Professor Peter Harrison
Co-supervisors: Dr Lyndon Brooks

Publications

Meynecke, J.-O., Vindenes, S. and Teixeira, D. (2013) Monitoring Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Behaviour in a Highly Urbanised Coastline: Gold Coast, Australia, in Global Challenges in Integrated Coastal Zone Management (eds E. Moksness, E. Dahl and J. Støttrup), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118496480.ch8