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IWC-SORP Research Fund - Call for Proposals

Thanks to voluntary contributions from the Netherlands and Australia, the IWC-Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP) is making available a new fund of £155,000.  Applications are welcome from projects related to the five current IWC-SORP work programmes.  The amount that can be awarded to each individual project is based on quality and not limited to a specified sum.  Previous calls have resulted in awards from £2500 to £23,800.

The five current IWC-SORP projects are:

  1. The Antarctic Blue Whale Project (ABWP): towards an improved circumpolar abundance estimate;
  2. Distribution, relative abundance, migration patterns and foraging ecology of three ecotypes of killer whales in the Southern Ocean;
  3. Foraging ecology and predator­-prey interactions between baleen whales and krill: a multi­-scale comparative study across Antarctic regions;
  4. Acoustic trends in abundance, distribution, and seasonal presence of Antarctic blue whales and fin whales in the Southern Ocean;
  5. Assessing the distribution and extent of mixing of Southern Hemisphere humpback whale populations around Antarctica.

IWC-SORP was endorsed by the IWC Scientific Committee in 2009.  Since the programme began it has produced 85 peer reviewed publications on a range of different subjects.  Scientists participating in IWC-SORP have been developing and applying new and powerful, non-lethal research methods including acoustic techniques, tagging devices, photography and satellite tracking methods, tissue sampling and sophisticated genetic techniques, as well as important ecological theory and analyses. In the past year alone, the programme has undertaken six field trips, obtaining thousands of photo-ID images, hundreds of hours of acoustic recordings, and successfully deploying satellite tags on nearly 280 cetaceans.

Collaboration is an underpinning principle of IWC-SORP and the partnership currently includes eleven countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and the United States of America.  All applications for funding must include a Chief Investigator from one of these partner nations.

The closing date for applications is midnight UCT, 17 August 2016.

For more information, to read the Call for Proposals and download and an application form, please click here.