Date of Award

Fall 12-28-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Diana Reiss

Second Advisor

Marcelo. Magnasco

Academic Program Adviser

Diana Reiss


With the increase in the use of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) for marine mammal research, there is a need for the development of methods of analysis to transform UAS high resolution video into quantitative data. This study sought to develop a preliminary method of analysis that would quantify and present a way to visualize the dynamics and relative spatial distribution and changes in distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the waters of Turneffe Atoll, Belize. This approach employs a previously developed video tracking program ‘Keypoint Tracking’ that enables manual tracking of individual dolphins and the creation of trajectory paths created using Pythons’ matplotlib plotting library to produce a visual representation of dolphin group dynamics including changes in the trajectory, spatial location, and relative position of individuals relative to each other and the group as a whole. Trajectory paths can be individualized or grouped for the analysis of movement, collective distributions and spatial relationships. Furthermore, with an animation, functional real-time visualization of movement and vocalization was achieved.



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