The Sensory Ecology and Bioacoustics Lab

Studying the sensory biology of marine organisms and marine acoustic environments

Cetacean Acoustics

How and why dolphins and whales hear and use sound and deal with human produced sound

Squid Sensory Environments

Looking into what squid experience and how they receive and respond to those signals

Comparative Studies

We comparatively study hearing in odontocetes, cephalopods, seabirds and other taxa to more broadly understand auditory adaptations and noise impacts

Biosensors

We develop and apply new tags and biosensors to examine how animals naturally behave and respond to changing environments

Sound Production

We address sound production in a diverse array of taxa including humpback whales

Acoustic behavior

Examining how animals such as cuttlefish respond to anthropogenic noise

Baseline hearing measurements in Alaskan belugas

Measuring the hearing abilities of  temporarily captured wild belugas from Bristol Bay.

Squid-700_360737 IMage of day Oct 9 2014

Sound Detection in Squid

Quantifying the acoustic sensitivity of the longfin squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) using near-field acoustic and shaker-generated acceleration stimuli.

Coral Reef Soundscapes

Deployment of  broadband digital passive acoustic recorders to assess species richness and relative animal abundance in the US Virgin Islands National Park

 

About the lab

 

Our research is in the sensory biology of animals, primarily marine organisms.  We study how these animals detect the world around them, what they detect (i.e., what's important to the organism), and how these animals then relate to their environment (e.g., predator detection, prey localization, habitat identification, and conspecific communication).  Our science is integrative in techniques and comparative in its research subjects. Our reserach involves dolphins, false killer whales, belugas, puffins, finless porpoise, risso's dolphin, squid, cuttlefish, coral reef fish, temperate fish, brown bears, polar bears, coral reef assemblages, and temparate soundscapes to name a few.  Our research often addresses bioacoustic related questions, but we certainly not limited to that modality. Some of this work stems from examining the influences of increasing human-produced noise or other stressors such as ocean acidification or fisheries bycatch. Our primary interests originate in examining the relationship of sensory physiology and sensory anatomy to animal behavior and ecological relationships. This allows us to address communication, develop and apply new biosensor tags, and quantify soundscapes.

 

 

 

 

 

To Tag a Squid

Oceanus Magazine documented our recent sucessful iTag field deployments in a local estuary. The documentary is a full-access look into our experimental design (i.e., tagging, transport, recovery). We are hoping to build on these deployments and tag squid in the Vineyard Sound as well as larger species in the Azores. For more information on the project, Click Here.