The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is one of the most endangered large whales,
with only ~400 individuals remaining. They have also shown little, if any, recovery despite over 70 years of international protection. Much of the current research is therefore focused on identifying and mitigating the factors influencing recovery. Much of the research relies on the photo-identification of individuals based on naturally occurring physical characteristics. This photo-identification work has been ongoing for almost 30 years. In our lab, we are using genetic analyses to gain a better understanding of the reproductive biology and social structure, as well as to assess the potential for genetic factors to be influencing the recovery potential of the species.