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2021 DND AND NSERC DISCOVERY GRANT SUPPLEMENT
Dr. Ruth Joy is one of 20 recipients of the competitive 2021 National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Department’s of National Defence (DND) Discovery Grant Supplements, and the only recipient from Simon Fraser University. This supplement has been granted for Ruth's research on mitigating commercial vessel impacts on coastal whales.
The DND/NSERC Discovery Grant Supplements aim to support unclassified university-based research dedicated to the development of non-weapon specific technologies with dual-use applications in defence and security target areas.
The naval ranges just outside of the Salish Sea, overlap with a killer whale habitat, which presents issues in terms of being able to distinguish naval related sounds from those of the whales. Underwater, it can be difficult to detect and classify natural sounds, such as those made by whales, from unnatural sounds, such as those coming from commercial vessels, submarines, torpedoes, and other stealth naval operations.
Acoustic classification remains a difficult and open-scientific challenge. This proposal aims to extend the usefulness of A.I. in improved acoustic detection systems. In particular, the proposal will support building deep learning algorithms for detection and classification of Southern Resident vs Biggs’ killer whales, and other whale species protected under the Canadian Species at Risk Act using the waters of the Pacific naval ranges.