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Juli Goldstein, D.V.M.
The Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program (MMRC) has multifaceted veterinary medicine, research, education, and conservation programs involving marine mammal species from around the world. Current research programs are documenting the:
- causes of marine mammal strandings;
- health status of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (IRL);
- effects of harmful algal bloom biotoxins;
- population ecology of the IRL bottlenose dolphin population through a photo-identification study; and
- identification of emerging diseases in various marine mammal species.
The MMRC necropsy laboratory provides a climate-controlled facility to conduct detailed necropsy examinations on marine mammals. A state-of-the-art marine mammal ambulance provides rescue assistance for marine mammals throughout Florida. The proposed rebuilding of the hurricane-flattened Marine Mammal Stranding Center will provide temporary or long-term care for stranded marine mammals. Care of stranded animals is handled by a staff veterinarian, three consulting veterinarians, and a team of animal care specialists.
MMRC’s educational program includes M.S. and Ph.D. marine mammal studies in the areas of molecular biology, pathology, and epidemiology. MMRC is an educational component of the internationally recognized Envirovet program.
The MMRC has conservation outreach programs established in Latin America that provide veterinary care to aquatic mammal species while at the same time training local caregivers to provide future care on their own. Past conservation outreach programs involving Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) and Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis) were conducted in Veracruz and Villahermosa, Mexico; Georgetown, Guyana; Leticia, Colombia; and Tefe, Brazil.
Signs of Times - Support Dolphin Interpretative Project