4 May 2019

Dr Rochelle Constantine - Whale poo divulges its secrets

From Saturday Morning, 10:38 am on 4 May 2019
Rochelle Constantine at Cape Adare

Rochelle Constantine at Cape Adare Photo: Supplied

Dr Rochelle Constantine is an Associate Professor in biological sciences and marine science at the University of Auckland. Her most recent multi-disciplinary, collaborative project is focused on the Hauraki Gulf - Tīkapa Moana/ Te Moananui-ā-Toi - an area described as a 'global hotspot for marine megafauna diversity'.

Recent research used a DNA-barcoding to analyse whale poo and the zooplankton community in the Gulf to determine the Bryde's whale diet, the most adaptable baleen whale known and a resident of the Gulf.

The whales eat plankton, which are themselves on the move in the wake of warming oceans - behaviour which can provide a heads-up about the much larger changes that will occur in the Gulf if climate change continues.