Marine Mammal Health

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The Marine Mammal Health Project strives to assess and monitor the health of marine mammals in Western Australia and in doing so supports both the early detection of adverse impacts from natural and anthropogenic pressures, and the ability to distinguish between these different pressures. The project has the following components: disease surveillance and investigation of mortality events through opportunistic post-mortem examinations and sampling, nutritional studies, toxicogenomics and archival tissue banking.
This information is complementary to biological and ecological studies and can help inform wildlife management agencies for better conservation and management outcomes. Since 2009 the MMHP has contributed to several technical reports on dolphin and Humpback whale health and disease, delivered to various governmental agencies; including the report to the Minister for the Environment and WA’s Chief Scientist on the 2009 Swan-Canning Riverpark dolphin mortality event.

There are two project members, however we collaborate with other research scientists at both a national and international level. Dr Carly Holyoake (BSc BVMS PhD) is a veterinarian and Registrar in Wildlife Epidemiology and Conservation Medicine at Murdoch University. Dr Nahiid Stephens (BSc BVMS [Hons] MANZCVSc) is a veterinary pathologist and Lecturer in Pathology at Murdoch University.

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