My research interests are in animal communication, the impact of anthropogenic noise on animal behavior, and interspecies interactions. I work primarily in the marine realm, but I am generally interested in using acoustics to investigate questions of applied ecological significance and to disseminate science to the greater public.
My master’s research focused on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) non-song vocal behavior in Southeast Alaska, including call classification and behavioral context. Former projects include humpback whale photo-identification and citizen-science program development in Juneau, Alaska, undergraduate internship development and mentoring from the Five Finger Lighthouse in Frederick Sound, Alaska, coordination and development of a marine mammal observation effort in Oregon’s near-shore ocean, and the analysis of a year-long acoustic data set from Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, where I investigated seasonal presence of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and arctic seals.
My dissertation research — known colloquially as “The Acoustic Spyglass Project” — investigates the impact of vessel noise on humpback whale vocal behavior in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This includes quantifying and describing the role of non-song vocalizations within the humpback whale vocal repertoire, quantifying the contribution of biotic and abiotic noise to the marine soundscape, measuring source levels (loudness) and calling rates, and assessing shifts in vocal behavior as a response to vessel noise.