Understanding how dolphins react to disturbances (like boats) is one aspect of behavior we study. Most recently, we’ve employed the use of drones in this research conducted in conjunction with colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Please don’t try this at home: We have special permits that allow us to use drones to study dolphins without harassing them. So please don’t try it on your own!
The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program has acted as a testbed for the development of many innovative methods to study marine mammals. The capture-release health assessments make it possible to attach gear to wild dolphins in a safe and controlled setting and also test the efficacy of things like performing ultrasounds in the field. Innovations occur in medical and veterinary research, as well as studies of dolphin behavior and communication.