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Whales of Sri Lanka: Conservation through Science and Engagement

  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center 100 Shaffer Rd Santa Cruz, CA, 95060 United States (map)

Whales of Sri Lanka: Conservation through Science and Engagement
with Asha de Vos, Ph.D.
part of the Science Sundays series at Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Sunday, July 19
, 1:00PM, and the third Sunday of each month
Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz
included with museum admission

Join us on the third Sunday of every month (except December), for a public lecture from a marine scientist, who presents current research and topics in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format, with up-to-date photos, video, and discussion. Science Sunday is for everyone interested in the world around them.

Doors open to the lecture hall at 12:30PM. Lecture passes are available at the admissions counter at noon. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served. No late seating. Lectures are one-hour long, including time for a few questions at the end. Science Sunday is free with admission, and always free for members. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

The blue whales found in Sri Lankan waters have been described by researcher Asha de Vos as “unorthodox” since they break their species stereotypes. Prior research suggested that blue whales the world over fed at the poles and then undertook long-range migrations to breed and calve. We now know that the blue whales of Sri Lanka remain in the warm tropical waters of the Northern Indian Ocean year-round.

Captivated by this unique whale behavior, de Vos has spent a decade getting to know them. Her current mission is to save them.

The waters off the Sri Lankan coast have some of world’s busiest shipping lanes, with whale deaths due to ship strikes well-documented and increasing. Working with a team at UC Santa Cruz, de Vos is collecting data on whale deaths and developing mathematical models that calculate how the risk of ship strikes can be reduced.

Join de Vos as she describes this effort and highlights the importance of coupling science and civic engagement for the long-term protection of this unique population.