Dive deep into the mysterious world of killer whales with Isabella Reeves, a passionate Ph.D. candidate in marine biology at the Cetacean Research Center. In this captivating podcast, Isabella takes you on a journey into the remote and harsh habitats of killer whales, the second most widespread species globally after humans.
Isabella shares the challenges of studying these elusive creatures, who dart through the ocean at high speeds, making them difficult to spot and study. Learn about the innovative techniques she employs, including a modified crossbow with a dart that collects a tiny sample of skin, providing invaluable genetic insights.
Isabella’s research focuses on the genomics of killer whales, unraveling the evolution of orcas globally. She discusses the distinctions between male and female killer whales and explores the unique genetic makeup of Australia’s orcas, a population with less-known details compared to their North Pacific counterparts.
She delves into the tragic extinction of a specific killer whale lineage, highlighting the whitewashing of indigenous history in her quest to rectify historical omissions. Her work strives to amplify the voices of indigenous communities, contributing crucial puzzle pieces to the evolutionary story of killer whales.
Tune in to follow Isabella’s journey through the intricate world of killer whale evolution. Gain insights into her ongoing work, including her goals of submitting her Ph.D. in the coming year and contributing to conservation management. Discover how her research aims to fill the gaps in our understanding of killer whales, especially in tropical regions in Australia and New Zealand, where these magnificent creatures remain enigmatic puzzle pieces waiting to be unveiled.
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Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/30PvU9