Bernd Würsig Laboratory

Our laboratories at Texas A&M Galveston and Kaikoura New Zealand are equipped with state-of-the-art computers for archiving and processing still and video visual data, and sound analyses of dolphins and whale voacalizations and anthropogenic sounds.

Presently, we are digitizing earlier data from analog films and cassette tapes into modern archival formats.




Photo-identification archives

Tens of thousands of photos relating to cetacean species identified around the world are filed at the laboratory.

Some of the long-term photo archives — such as the ones centered around bottlenose dolphins in southern Texas, Hawaiian spinner dolphins, and dusky dolphins — allow for longitudinal analyses of population parameters such as numbers of identified animals, longevity, and reproductive rates.




Video and sound archives

We have many hours of video and sounds of marine mammals, and have recently described in some detail the foraging behaviors of dusky dolphins while bait-ball feeding, largely due to the diligent work of former student Robin Vaughn with the assistance of many Texas A&M and other undergraduate and graduate student interns.




Marine mammal library

In 1993, the great marine mammalogist Kenneth S. Norris, University of California at Santa Cruz, donated his research library to Bernd Würsig. While the Norris and Würsig libraries were stand-alone physical paper entities cataloged with the program Endnote, in 2010 we began the arduous task of merging the two libraries and digitizing all material, resulting in over 30,000 searchable marine mammal science publications.

This work continues with the help of a cadre of undergraduate volunteers. This library is freely available for consultation by TAMUG participants, including anyone from outside who wishes to peruse it. For copyright reasons, it cannot be made available on the net at this time.





Almost all of our still photo equipment is Nikon-based, although we are also familiar with Canon systems. Our video systems tend to be Sony based. Our computers are largely Windows system, although lately we have been getting back to Mac platforms, since the two interact more seamlessly than ten to fifteen years ago. We also operate state-of the art slide copiers.




Osteological collections

The collection includes skulls, baleens, and other osteological parts of many marine mammals. It is used primarily for education purposes, and is housed in the Vertebrate Collection curated by colleague Dr. Christopher Marshall.