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How Trent is Saving the World’s Most Endangered Whale
February 2, 2007

More than 120 people gathered at Trent University on February 22 for the Right Whale Symposium to learn how scientific research, particularly the DNA analysis conducted here at Trent, is helping to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale.

Drs. Scott Kraus and Moira Brown from the New England Aquarium of Boston, MA presented their compelling research and conservation activities on this highly endangered species. With only 350 animals remaining, the North Atlantic right whale is hovering on the brink of extinction, making it the most endangered whale in the world.

Trent University wildlife scientist Professor Brad White, graduate students Brenna McLeod and Roxanne Bower, and research scientist, Tim Fra sier, were recognized by Drs. Kraus and Brown for their extensive work analyzing the right whales’ DNA in an effort to understand their low birth rate, a primary threat preventing their recovery.

"The genetics work at Trent is very unique," explained Dr. Kraus. "Through their DNA analysis, Trent’s research team have identified how the mating system of right whales appears to work. They have also been able to determine that right whale offspring from less related parents are more likely survive, a critical finding helping us better understand their highly variable annual birth rates."

To learn more about the Right Whale Symposium at Trent, be sure to pick up a copy of the next edition of Focus Trent, being released on March 9.