This research is funded by proceeds from the Protect Wild Dolphins and Protect Florida Whales specialty license plates.
- Conduct comprehensive post-mortem examinations of stranded marine mammals and carry out multiple research goals while serving as a Florida statewide resource
- Retrospective analyses of pathology data, combined with bottlenose dolphin Health and Environmental Risk Assessment Project (HERA) clinical research findings to provide increased scientific insights into the potential means of predicting disease and mortality in dolphins and possibly other cetacean stocks; the causes of death of dolphins may be related to environmental degradation, which is a critical issue facing estuaries and coastal areas in Florida
- Analyze causes of mortality for IRL dolphins from 2003 to 2012, and compare these to reports from other cetacean populations
- Determine whether clinical findings obtained from live animals can predict subsequent mortality in stranded IRL dolphins previously examined during HERA
- Collect and archive a complete suite of pathological samples for use in current and future research from deceased marine mammals.