Your Shepherd Project database, powered with geneGIS
The Shepherd Project and the computational tools of the geneGIS initiative (with funding from ONR) were developed to help manage and explore databases of photo-identification records and associated genetic information. The database structure and tools provide for visual exploration of individual encounters and group occurrences of individual whales identified by photographs of natural marking (photo-ID), by DNA profiles (microsatellite genotypes) or from both sources of identity. To date, the Shepherd Project framework has been used for the integration of photo-identification records and DNA profiles (with mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellite genotypes) collected during the ocean-wide survey of humpback whales in the North Pacific, Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks (SPLASH). The Shepherd Project is also been used for managing catalogues of individual identification photographs of other marine megafauna, including whale sharks and manta rays, although these currently lack associated genetic information.
The NARW database presented here represents an integration of photo-identification records and DNA profiles from right whales in the North Atlantic for the years 2001 and 2002. This implementation was conducted with data made available through a request to the NARW Consortium for the purposes of beta-testing the database structure and demonstrating the tools developed through geneGIS/Shepherd Project. The database is proprietary and password protected. If you are interested in access for the purposes of evaluating the geneGIS/Shepherd Project tools, please contact Scott Baker (see below).
The NARW photo-identification catalog is maintained by the New England Aquarium. The NARW database of DNA profiles (mtDNA haplotypes and microsatellite loci) is maintained by Saint Mary's University and Trent University.
Curator of photo-identification: Phil Hamilton, New England Aquarium
Curator of DNA profiles: Tim Frasier, Saint Mary's University
Shepherd Project developer: Jason Holmberg, ECOCEAN USA
geneGIS coordinator: Scott Baker, Oregon State University
For more information, please contact: Scott Baker