Latest Publication On Cetacean Distribution In Relation To Oceanographic Features At The Kerguelen Plateau

OSC is pleased to announce our latest publication of the article Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen plateau (Todd and Williamson, 2021), published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Polar Biology. This article was co-authored by OSC’s managing director (Dr Victoria Todd) and senior analyst (Dr Laura Williamson).

The kerguelen plateu is located in the south-eastern indian ocean; an isolated region complicated to study due to extreme weather conditions; however, it is an area of interest due to its known productivity and abundance of marine mammals. Due to these challenges, cetacean distribution is relatively understudied.

Todd and Williamson (2021) analysed the relationship between observation effort, cetacean sightings (MMO), seismic operations, and oceanographic variables (e.g. bathymetry, nutrient concentrations, and indices of primary productivity) using Generalised Additive Models (GAMs) to study cetacean distribution in Kerguelen waters.

The main finding of this article shows that satellite derived dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll-a were the most significant predictors of cetacean occurrence, where high concentrations of both variables correlated with an increased presence of cetaceans. To the best of our knowledge, this study also confirms the first recorded sighting of dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus Obscurus) in the Kerguelen Islands. Dusky dolphins were one of nine species recorded over 48 events.

To learn further about observed species and the relationship between cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features, check out the full article here.


Todd, V.L.G., and Williamson, L.D. (2021): Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen Plateau. Polar Biology.

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