Cammen speaks to UPI about facial recognition for seals

UPI interviewed Kristina Cammen, assistant professor of marine mammal science at the University of Maine, for an article about a new machine learning software designed to recognize the faces of individual seals that could help scientists answer questions about the social behavior, site fidelity and movement of harbor seals. Cammen commented on the recovery of harbor seal populations in Maine, which may have even surpassed historical populations. “We don’t have a good sense of how many seals there were in the Gulf of Maine historically,” Cammen said. “We know they were here in significant numbers, but we really don’t know what that baseline before exploitation was. … I think [facial recognition software] will give us a better sense of seals as individuals, and that can offer us a better sense of their ecologies and behavioral patterns.”