Recent News


Watch 60 Minutes tonight!

posted Nov 30, 2013, 7:14 PM by Catherine Attard

See me on 60 minutes, Channel Nine, 7:30 pm, tonight - Sunday 1st December! It documents our field trip in April-May 2013 to the Maldives to try to find blue whales!

Article published in Australasian Science magazine

posted May 27, 2013, 6:35 PM by Catherine Attard   [ updated May 27, 2013, 6:35 PM ]

An article which I headed writing was published in May's edition of the popular Australian science magazine, Australasian Science. It describes for the general public the work from my recent publication in Molecular Ecology.

Click here for a link to the article on Australian Science's website!

PhD thesis submitted, postdoc research started AND field trip completed!

posted May 27, 2013, 6:27 PM by Catherine Attard   [ updated May 27, 2013, 6:29 PM ]

My PhD thesis titled "Genetic diversity, structure and historical demography of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in the Southern Hemisphere" was submitted for examination in February 2013! I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes swimmingly. Since March 2013 I have been at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, doing postdoctoral research on - you guessed it - blue whales, as well as expanding myself into researching fish. I have recently returned from close to 4 weeks of field work in the Maldives aimed at collecting biopsy samples from blue whales. It has been a busy few months!

New journal article published online

posted Nov 8, 2012, 10:38 PM by Catherine Attard

My PhD supervisors, collaborators and I recently had another installment of our blue whale genetics research published online (ahead of print publication) in the journal Molecular Ecology. This research challenges the current knowledge of blue whales. We genetically detected, in the Antarctic, migrant Australian pygmy blue whales and hybrids between these blue whales and Antarctic blue whales. The findings suggest that the ecology of these blue whales may have recently changed due to anthropogenic activities, such as whaling or climate change.

Click here to read the article!

ABC radio interview

posted Sep 23, 2012, 10:01 PM by Catherine Attard

My PhD supervisor Dr Luciana Möller and I were interviewed for ABC radio about our research on the genetic subspecies and population identity of blue whales in the northern Indian Ocean. This was in relation to a media release by Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Click here to listen to the interview!

Recent conference presentations

posted Aug 19, 2012, 7:48 PM by Catherine Attard

I created a lovely poster about our research on hybridization between blue whale Southern Hemisphere subspecies, but empty pockets prevented me from attending two conferences to present the work personally and mingle with other researchers. However, others presented the poster, for which I am thankful. These presentations have been added to the Presentations webpage.

The first meeting was the Living Whales in the Southern Ocean symposium and workshop held at Chile in March this year. This meeting was put together through the Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP), an international partnership focused on non-lethal whale research in the Southern Ocean. The purpose of the symposium and workshops were to discuss advances in non-lethal cetacean research methods. Scott Baker and his student Angie Sremba of Oregon State University in the USA kindly presented the poster.

Annually scientists worldwide involved in the study of evolution including us molecular ecologists attend the Evolution conference. This year it was held in July in Canada and was the first time the conference was joint between 5 different societies. My PhD supervisor Luciana Möller presented our work.

It will be great when this research is published and therefore easily accessible to the wider community!

19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals

posted Jan 6, 2012, 5:57 PM by Catherine Attard

Every 2 years marine mammalogists from around the globe attend the Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, which is held by the Society for Marine Mammalogy. The conference was recently held on 27th Nov - 2nd Dec 2011. It's a great opportunity to share current research and ideas, catch up with other scientists and meet many new people. It was hosted at Tampa, Florida this year and I was lucky enough to attend and present my research... but in 2 years it will be hosted closer to home, in New Zealand, a much more accessible location for Australians!

SouWEST online

posted Jan 6, 2012, 5:39 PM by Catherine Attard   [ updated Jan 6, 2012, 5:43 PM ]

The Southwest Whale Ecology Study, or SouWEST, is a recently formed collaborative cetacean research program. I am proud to be a founding member. It includes studying cetaceans that frequent Geographe Bay - such as, of course, blue whales - and cetaceans in other areas of south-western Australia.

SouWEST have recently gone online - so please check out their website!

Website open!

posted Jan 8, 2011, 9:06 PM by Catherine Attard   [ updated Jan 13, 2011, 12:33 AM ]

Welcome to my new website, where I shall talk about my work as a molecular ecologist. The website is still largely "under construction", so keep checking back for updates!

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