2018-2019 Science Planning Summaries
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2018-2019 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

EAGER: Acoustic ecology of foraging Antarctic blue whales in the vicinity of Antarctic krill

Antarctic blue whale photographed in the Weddell Sea in 2006. Photo by: Kate Stafford
B-229-E Research Location(s): Southern Ocean


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns / Dr. Christian Fritsen

ASC POC/Implementer:
David Rivera / Cara Ferrier

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Ana NMI Sirovic
Texas A & M University
Dept. of Marine Biology
Galveston, Texas


Supporting Stations: Special Project
Research Locations: Southern Ocean


The Australian Antarctic Division and the University of Tasmania will lead an international voyage to the Antarctic in the austral summer of 2019. The goal of this project is to advance the understanding of blue whale behavior and krill dynamics through acoustic mapping. US participants will deploy passive and active acoustic technologies on a fixed mooring to track and localize blue whales. The acoustic information will allow better directing of ship operations towards aggregations of animals such that fine-scale acoustic tracking and prey-field mapping can be achieved.

Field Season Overview

Two USAP participants will deploy on the Australian research vessel, R/V Investigator, from mid January to early March in collaboration with the Australian Antarctic Division. The study area is south of 60° S and between 140° E and 175° W. USAP participants will contribute their acoustic expertise to the cruise, which will use autonomous underwater vehicles, short-term tags, photogrammetry and ship-based, real-time, active and passive acoustics.

Deploying Team Members

  • Ana Sirovic (PI)
  • Kathleen Stafford (Co-PI)