Call for Collaboration

  • The Mériscope invites universities and other research institutions to collaborate with us in order to conduct research projects in marine biology and environmental sciences.

  • We have co-supervised field projects of undergraduate and postgrad students from American, Canadian and European universities. Several Bachelor, Master and PhD projects have been conducted at our field base in eastern Canada since 2001.

  • We are now working on a project for a permanent facility, including a research lab and an innovative interpretation centre.

Current projects and cooperations:

  • Bioaccumulation and biological effects of PBDEs and priority emerging flame retardants in minke whales and belugas from the St. Lawrence Estuary (2014-2017); in collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Verreault (Université du Québec à Montréal, UQAM), Dr. David Janz (University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Magali Houde (Environment Canada), Dr. Véronique Lesage (Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and Robert Michaud (Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins, GREMM).    more ...
  • Monitoring of minke whales in the St. Lawrence: Photo identification, spatio-temporal distribution and meso-scale migration patterns (since 2001); in collaboration with Dr. Brian Kot (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) and Dr. Christian Ramp (MICS).   more ...
  • Passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals in the St. Lawrence Estuary: structural and functional properties of marine mammal vocalizations and effects of anthropogenic noise (since 2001).

Completed projects:

  • 2013: Spatio-temporal distribution and photo ID catalogue of minke whales in the St. Lawrence estuary. Sandra Striegel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Bachelor thesis.
  • 2012: GIS study of beluga sightings and photo ID catalogue of belugas in the St. Lawrence estuary. Anne Mancosu, Univ. of Zurich, Bachelor thesis.
  • 2010-2012: 3MTSim: Marine Mammal and Maritime Traffic Simulator: A multi-agent model to assist the integrated management of human activities in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and the proposed St. Lawrence Estuary Marine Protected Area in Quebec. In collaboration with Université de Montréal, École de Technologie Supérieure (Montreal), University of Calgary (Alberta), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, and GREMM (Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals); NSERC, strategic project.
  • 2010-2011: Passive acoustic monitoring of harbour porpoises in the St. Lawrence estuary: effects of anthropogenic noise and environmental factors on the behaviour of Phocoena phocoena. Anne Herrmann, Univ. of Greifswald, Germany, in collaboration with the German Oceanographic Museum, Stralsund, Master thesis.
  • 2005-2009: Rorqual whale (Balaenopteridae) lunge-feeding behaviors, processes and mechanisms. Brian W. Kot, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, PhD thesis.
  • 2008: Data base development and GIS mapping of blue whale and finback whale sightings in the St. Lawrence estuary. Stephanie Kalberer, Univ. of Zurich, Bachelor thesis.
  • 2002-2007: Tracking blue whale vocalizations and anthropogenic noise in the St. Lawrence estuary. Lucia Di Iorio, Univ. of Zurich, Switzerland, & Cornell University, NY, PhD thesis.
  • 2006: Analysis of invertebrate fauna in the intertidal zone of Portneuf-sur-Mer. Johan Decelle, Univ. Pierre-et-Marie-Curie, Paris, France, Bachelor thesis.
  • 2003-2005: Rorqual whales surface-feeding strategies: Biomechanical aspects of feeding anatomy and exploitation of prey aggregations along tidal fronts. Brian W. Kot, Univ. of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Master thesis.
  • 2004: GIS analysis of blue whale habitat in the St. Lawrence estuary. Dan Zeh, Univ. of Texas at Clear Lake, Bachelor thesis.


  • Kot, Brian W., R. Sears, D. Zbinden, E. Borda, and G. Malcolm (2014): Rorqual whale (Balaenopteridae) surface lunge-feeding behaviors: standardized classification, repertoire diversity, and evolutionary analyses. Marine Mammal Science, DOI: 10.1111/mms.12115.
  • Striegel, S. (2013): Spatiotemporal distribution of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the St. Lawrence Estuary, Québec, Canada. Bachelor thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, 24p.
  • Kot, Brian W., D. Zbinden & R. Sears (2013): Aerial behavior by the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in the wake of a freighter and near other boats. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 45, 6pp.
  • Zbinden, D. (2013). Belugasterben im St. Lorenz: eine bedrohte Population im rapiden Sinkflug. SWG Newsletter Nr. 12, 6-7.
  • Herrmann, A., U.K. Verfuss, D. Zbinden, K. Krügel, M. Dähne, H. Benke (2012). Which environmental factors influence the harbour porpoise population of the St. Lawrence estuary, Canada? Poster presentation, European Cetacean Society Conference, Galway, Ireland.
  • Parrott, L., C. Chion, C.C.A. Martins, P. Lamontagne, S. Turgeon, J.A. Landry, B. Zhens, D.J. Marceau, R. Michaud, G. Cantin, N. Ménard, S. Dionne (2011). A decision support system to assist the sustainable management of navigation activities in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Canada. Environmental Modelling & Software 26, 12: 1403-1418.
  • Zbinden, D. (2010). Acoustic signals of minke whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Poster presentation, European Cetacean Society Conference, Stralsund, Germany.
  • Di Iorio, L. & C.W. Clark (2009). Exposure to seismic survey alters blue whale acoustic communication. Biol. Lett. 6, 51-54.
  • Cooper L.N., N. Sedano, S. Johannson, B. May, J. Brown, C.M. Holliday, B.W. Kot, and F.E. Fish. (2008). Hydrodynamic performance of the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) flipper. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 1859-1867.
  • Zbinden, D. (2007). Portrait eines Jägers: Die Schwertwale vor Kanadas Westküste. SWG Newsletter Nr. 7, 3-5.
  • Di Iorio, L. (2005). The study of acoustic communication in baleen whales; in Studying communication in animals. (eds. Miclea, M., Rusu, A., Clui-Napoca, Romana). Cognition, Brain, Behaviour 3, 583-597.
  • Zbinden, D. & L. Di Iorio (2003). Acoustic signals of group-feeding rorqual whales in the Northwest Atlantic. Poster presentation, European Cetacean Society Conference, Gran Canaria, Spain.
  • Zbinden, D. (1998). Wie Meeressäugetiere mit den Ohren sehen: Perfektionierung der Hörleistung. In Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 25.2.1998, Zurich, 63.
  • Zbinden, D. & D. Senn (1996). Acoustical behaviour and feeding ecology in minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and finback whales (Balaenoptera physalus). In Roche Research Foundation: Annual report 1996, eds. W. Stauffacher & A. Fischli, Basel, Switzerland, 119-121.

Financial support for our research projects has been provided by: