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Madagascar Project Team


On the ground making it happen

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Madagascar Project Team


On the ground making it happen

Sal thinking about the world of Omura's whales...

Salvatore Cerchio, PhD - Project Leader

Dr. Cerchio has been working in Madagascar since 2004, studying cetaceans from humpback whales to coastal dolphins to Omura’s whales.  He has been studying cetaceans for 36 years around the world. Currently he is a visiting Scientist with the New England Aquarium and Guest Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

 

Tahina Rasoloarijao - Tahina first worked with Sal in 2010 on a research sailing expedition along Madagascar's west coast from Toliara to Mahajanga. He joined the Omura's whale project in 2014 and is currently conducting his DEA through IHSM.

Boat Pilots - Christian “Gozy” Tombozafy - Boat Pilot Extraordinaire.  Gozy grew up in Nosy Be and the nearby Nosy Komba, with the ocean of Madagascar all around him.  He is a skilled pilot that has worked with Sal since 2008, and knows the cetaceans and marine life of the Nosy Be region better than anyone.

Field Support - Tanguy & Arthur Guillemain d’Echon, co-owners of Les Baleines Rand’eau and co-founders of Mada MegaFauna.  Tanguy and Arthur have been leading ecotourism trips around Nosy Be since 2010, and were instrumental in the discovery of Omura’s whales in the region.

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Danielle Cholewiak, PhD - Behavioral biologist and bioacoustician, working at NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Danielle has been studying cetaceans for almost 20 years and joined the Madagascar Omura's Whale Project in 2015.

Bridget Mueller-Brennan - Bridget started working with the Omura's whale project in the summer of 2017, as an intern through the NOAA Hollings Scholar Program at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. She's combining her math skills and her acoustic training to model the singing rates of Omura's whales. She is finishing her Bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois and continues to work on the acoustic data for the Omura's whale project in her spare time.

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Project Partners


Providing essential support for data collection and analyses

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Project Partners


Providing essential support for data collection and analyses

Mada MegaFauna – Malagasy NGO dedicated to marine mammal conservation, outreach and education in the Nosy Be region.  Their members and affiliates provide invaluable logistic support to the project Field Team, and facilitate the collection of data from platforms of opportunity throughout the year.

Alec Lindsay, PhD – Professor at Northern Michigan University.  Dr. Lindsay’s research interests include evolution, animal behavior and conservation predominantly with birds, but works with the Madagascar Omura’s Whale Project leading genetic analyses.

Sofie van Parijs, PhD – Lead of the Passive Acoustics Group at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA.  Sofie is participating in and supporting the bioacoustic research on Omura’s whales in Madagascar.

Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IHSM)  - The University of Toliara's marine institute, Sal has been working with colleagues at IHSM since 2004. Dr. Jamal Mahafina is the director of IHSM and is generously helping to facilitate the project. Dr. Norbert Andrianarivelo was previously a student with Sal and works extensively on marine research in Madagascar, and is now a project partner.

Madagascar Centre National de Recherches Océanographiques (CNRO) – The National Center for Oceanographic Research in Madagascar, based in Nosy Be.  The Center provides logistic support for the field work and researchers from the Center are involved in various aspects of the work.

Forever Dive - Run by Sylvia Trelanche, this dive charter group based in Madirokely provides logistic support for field work as well as exuberance and endless inspiration.


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Previous Team Members and interns


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Previous Team Members and interns


Boris Andrianantenaina, DEA -  Boris studied cetaceans with Sal in Madagascar from 2010-2016, receiving his Masters degree (DEA) from the IHSM Universite de Toliara. He worked on the Omura's whale project, as well as projects studying humpback whales and humpback dolphins. He now works with Conservation International in Madagascar.

Sandra Dorning - Sandra was an Omura's whale project intern in the summer of 2016, through the NOAA Hollings Scholar program and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. She worked on passive acoustic data, helping to describe Omura's whale song.  Sandra graduated from the University of Oregon's Robert D. Clark Honors College in 2017, was accepted as a 2018 Marshall Scholar! Sandra is planning to study marine environmental management and environmental policy.


FUNDING


The following institutions have generously contributed to the project since 2015:

Inspired citizens have also helped to support this project, and you can too!