In 1988 Dr Trish Franklin established The Oceania Project as a not-for-profit NGO to support the conservation of whales, dolphins and the ocean environment through research and education programs. The primary focus of The Oceania Project has been the support for a long-term study of the behaviour and ecology of humpback whales in Hervey Bay.
Trish's research aboard The Oceania Project's annual whale research expeditions in Hervey Bay has established a unique long-term photo-identification data set with extensive individual humpback whale re-sighting histories ranging from two to over twenty years.
Trish's research has focussed on individual and group social behaviour of migrating humpback whales and the social organisation and temporal segregation of classes of humpback whales during the southern migration in Hervey Bay off the southeast coast of Queensland. Her work is making a direct contribution to the management and conservation of the eastern Australian humpback whales.
Trish's work on the social behaviour of humpback whales is summarised in her thesis: The social and ecological significance of Hervey Bay Queensland for eastern Australian humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).