Dr Franklin's research focus is the behaviour and social organisation of humpback whales. She is also President of The Oceania Project (see below). Trish has twenty-five years experience studying the behaviour and social organisation of Humpback whales. Her research has focussed on individual and group social behaviour of migrating humpback whales and the social organisation and temporal segregation of classes of humpback whales during the southern migration in Hervey Bay off the southeast coast of Queensland. Her work is making a direct contribution to the management and conservation of the eastern Australian humpback whales.
In 1988 Trish established The Oceania Project as a not-for-profit, NGO to support the conservation of Whales, Dolphins and the Ocean environment through research and education programs. The primary focus of The Oceania Project has been support for a long-term study of the behaviour and ecology of humpback whales in Hervey Bay. Trish's research aboard The Oceania Project's Annual Whale Research Expeditions in Hervey Bay has established a unique long-term photo-identification data set, with extensive individual humpback whale re-sighting histories, ranging from two to over twenty years. The Oceania Project has been affiliated with Southern Cross University since 2000 and became an affiliate of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium in 2003.