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Aron Moony

T. Aran Mooney (PI)

Associate Scientist with Tenure

Aran is interested in how animals detect the world around them. How they hear, find food, communicate, navigate and avoid predators, and how humans impact an animal's sensory biology. Our lab generally takes a bioacoustics approach to investigating these ideas but we are open to all sorts of integrative and comparative methods to get at cool research questions. We examine sensory biology in a range of taxa, from bears to fish, but we tend to focus on odontocetes and cephalopods.  See here for my 2018 CV

Contact: amooney 'at'

Want to be part of the lab?

Our lab features a diverse group of collaborative scientists, postdoctoral scholars, graduate, and undergraduate students from all over the world.

Postdocs and Researchers


Youenn Jezequel

Postdoctoral Investigator

Youenn completed his PhD in marine ecology in France where he studied the bioacoustics of lobsters. He is now a postdoctoral investigator in the Mooney Lab to investigate the potential effects of anthropogenic noise on the behavior and physiology of marine invertebrates and fish.


Google scholar


Andria Salas

Postdoctoral Investigator

Andria earned her PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior in the Integrative Biology Department at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Her primary role in the Mooney lab is investigating the auditory sensitivity of aquatic turtles and how these species may be impacted by anthropogenic noise in both freshwater and marine environments. This work complements Andria’s broad interests in marine bioacoustics and ecology, in which she specifically focuses on coastal soundscapes and the role of acoustic cues in larval settlement. Andria’s research includes the acoustic behaviors of fishes and snapping shrimps, spatiotemporal variability of reef soundscapes, the propagation of sounds that may serve as acoustic cues for larval fishes, and the perception and response of larvae to the sound fields created by reef soundscapes.


Google scholar

Graduate Students


Kela Bakari

PhD Student: 2021-present

Kela graduated in 2020 from Howard University with a B.S. in Biology and minor in Chemistry. During undergrad she worked on jellyfish behavior and development at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Now she's carried her love of invertebrates to the Mooney Lab, where she is currently planning a project which analyzes the effects of pile-driving noise on Doryteuthis pealeii egg development.


Nadège Aoki

PhD Student: 2020-present

Nadège graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and worked for the National Science Foundation prior to joining the Mooney Lab. Nadège is broadly interested in understanding the effects of the ambient soundscape on the behavior and recruitment of coral reef fishes and invertebrates. She is currently working on projects examining trends in boat noise and fish abundance in the US Virgin Islands and developing new drifting instruments to monitor coastal soundscapes in real-time.

Seth Cones

PhD Candidate: 2019-present

Seth recently graduated with a B.S. in Marine Biology from Ohio University. He first joined WHOI in 2017 as a summer guest student under Dr. Laela Sayigh. He analyzed audio files from tagged long-finned pilot whales to categorize their vocal repertoire. Now, he is transitioning onto our iTag project to remotely classify and quantify squid behavior to elucidate their swimming efficiency and habitat preferences.


Research Assistants


Nate Formel

Research Assistant III: 2022-present


Nate earned his M.S. from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School in 2013. His work has focused mainly on conservation and restoration of coral reef ecosystems in Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean, and more recently development of open-source samplers to fit research specific needs and expand access to marine research tools. In the Mooney lab Nate helps facilitate lab and field work and improve the capabilities of the lab to enhance our research efforts.




Sierra Jarriel

Research Assistant: 2022-present


After completing a BS in Marine Biology at Cal Poly Humboldt, Sierra continued to develop her interest in marine bioacoustics at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School, graduating with a Master’s of Professional Science in Marine Mammal Science in 2021. She joined the Mooney Lab in 2022 to assist with a variety of projects and continue to grow as an acoustician and researcher.



Interns, Guest Students, Summer Fellows and Undergrads

Lab Mascots

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Lab Dog #1

Chloe is the official lab dog and the unofficial mascot of our building and WHOI. Chloe specializes in sleeping and chasing tennis balls (she's WHOI Champion of tennis ball retrieving).  When not found at either of these activities, she's probably snuck off down the hall to beg for treats.



Lab Dog #2

Maggie is Chloe's little sister and she's learned the ways of the lab well. When she's not contending for the title of "world's best lab dog" she can be found collecting head scratches and treats around the building.

Past Lab Members

Postdocs and Researchers


Frants Jensen

Visiting Investigator

Frants is a Visiting Investigator from Aarhus University in Denmark with expertise in sensory physiology and bioacoustics, and a keen interest in quantifying animal behavior in-situ through the use of biologging tags. Frants is currently working on a project developing small tags for detecting vocalizations from fish, with applications for parsing coral reef soundscapes or dynamically managing commercial fisheries.
Jenni Stanley


Jenni Stanley

Research Associate III

Jenni is a researcher that came to us from NOAA NEFSC. She is leading a project on soundscapes in the US National Marine Sanctuaries and we are collaborating on a project investigating effects of pile driving noise on black sea bass and squid.
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Amy van Cise

Postdoctoral Scholar

Amy is a Postdoctoral Scholar from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is studying acoustic variability among and within beluga whale populations in southern Alaska. She is focused on identifying potential drivers for differences between and within populations' vocal repertoires, as well as developing methods to characterize and quantify that variability. Amy also works with the Apprill lab, where she is examining the epidermal microbiome of beluga whales, and with the Tepolt lab, where she is comparing the complete genome sequences of three different putative types of short-finned pilot whale.



Paul Caiger

Visiting Researcher / Guest Investigator

Paul is a visiting Researcher and Guest Investigator from NOAA NEFSC. He is using AEPs to study hearing and the effects of noise on black sea bass.




Adam Smith

Visiting Investigator

Adam received his PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2017, studying dolphin hearing. He is now Visiting from the Oceanwide Science Institute, in Hawaii, working on hearing and soundscapes in Alcid birds. At the end of 2018 he heads to Iceland as a Fulbright Fellow to continue these studies.




Ash Lee Lillis

Ashlee Lillis

Postdoctoral Scholar

Ashlee is a Postdoc Scholar from NCSU. Her expertise is in larval reponses to sound. She has been studying snapping shrimp and what makes them snap!



Francesco Caruso

Guest Postdoctoral Investigator

Francesco worked on the iTAG project during 2017. He was involved in the development of classification algorithms for squid locomotion, testing also the potential effects of small tags on cephalopod behavior. He studied Marine Biology and Ecology at University of Messina (Italy). His main expertise is in PAM applications using large dataset from multidisciplinary observatories (INFN-LNS, CIBRA, IAMC-CNR). In 2014, he received the “Gori Fellowship” as Guest Student at WHOI and then he was Guest Postdoctoral Investigator in 2015 and 2017. His work was focused on bioacoustic signal processing and applications of bio-logging tags for cetaceans and invertebrates (DTAG, iTAG). Francesco is now Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering (Chinese Academy of Science, China).


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Matt Long

Postdoctoral Scholar

Matt was a Postdoc Scholar from UVA also working with Matt Charette and Dan McCorkle at WHOI. In our lab he was addressing the oxygen and pH tolerance of developing squid


Graduate Students

Casey Zakroff

Casey Zakroff (MIT-WHOI Joint Program Student)

PhD Candidate: 2014 - present

Casey joined the Joint Program in the midst of his M.S. at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He received his B.S.'s in Biology, studying stress physiology in estuarine crabs, and Anthropology, using geochemistry to source lithic artifacts, from Florida Gulf Coast University. He is our cephalopod ecophysiology guru. He is the PhD student lead on our squid ocean acidification project, where he uses an integrative approach (transcriptomics, morphology/physiology, and behavior) to understand both potential impacts and patterns of resilience/variability.

Casey is also an avid proponent of science outreach, particularly in increasing the accessibility of science and communicating science better through, and by learning from, comics. Currently he is working on designing a tactile comic book about octopus camouflage for the visually impaired and blind.


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Ian Jones (MIT-WHOI Joint Program Student)

PhD Candidate: 2016 - present

Ian completed his B.S. in Marine Science at the University of Maine, and joined the Mooney Lab as a graduate student in 2016. His research focuses on how marine invertebrates detect and respond to natural and anthropogenic sounds. He currently studies how offshore construction noise impacts squid behavior. He is also interested in investigating mechanisms of sound detection in squid and other cephalopods, as well as cephalopods' physiological and behavioral sensitivities to natural sound cues



Zhongchang Song (Guest PhD Student - Xiamen University)

PhD Student

Sponsored by the China Scholarship Council, Song joined the Mooney Lab as a guest PhD student in 2017. Ever since he enrolled as a graduate student in Xiamen University (Xiamen, China), he has been investigating the biosonar systems of odontocetes using CT scanning, physical measurement and numerical simulation. Part of his time is spent on analyzing the signals of different odontocetes species.





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Max Kaplan (MIT-WHOI Joint Program Student)

PhD: 2017

Former WHOI -MIT JP Student and Summer Student Fellow

Max's PhD was on using coral reef soundscapes to quantify community assemblages and biological trends on coral reefs. Check out the lab publication page for his papers. He was also a SSF and studied the impacts of high CO2 levels and ocean acidification conditions on paralarval squid.  Max received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of St. Andrews.



Tammy Silva (Guest PhD Student - UMass Dartmouth)

PhD: 2017

Working on odontocete bioacoustics, including Hawaiian spotted dolphins and odontocetes of Stellwagen Bank Nat'l Marine Sanctuary. Tammy is working in our lab (and the lab of Laela Sayigh) and earning her PhD from UMass Dartmouth.



Walid Naciri (Guest PhD Student - Nice University)

Guest Masters Student

Walid graduated with a B.S. in Biology of Organisms from the University of Nice in 2017 and is now ongoing a master’s degree in marine biology. He joined WHOI in January 2019 for an internship under Dr. Aran Mooney. He is now analyzing the anatomy (mainly auditory system) of deep diving birds through CT scan and dissections.





Interns, Guest Students, Summer Fellows and Undergrads


Sophie Ferguson

Guest Student

Sophie is a guest student from University of Miami who joined the Mooney lab in summer 2020. She began her research looking at changes in fish call rates throughout the lunar cycle in the USVI. This year, she will continue working in the Mooney lab looking at fish survey data to determine the changes in fish density and diversity on USVI reefs.



Matt Hyer

Guest Student

Matt is an undergraduate student at Middlebury College studying Physics and Computer Science. He has been at WHOI since the summer of 2019 and a part of the Mooney lab since the summer of 2020 working to apply machine learning techniques to underwater recordings of marine mammals and fish.



Hadley Clark

Guest Student

Hadley joins us from California State University Monterey Bay where she studies Marine Science.  She joined the Mooney Lab as a guest student in the summer of 2017 where she studied Atlantic white sided dolphin’s bioacoustics.  This summer she is back in the lab looking at how offshore pile driving noises impacts squid behavior.



Adrian Reed

Summer Intern

I’m Adrian Reed and I attend Texas A&M University at Galveston. I major in marine biology and minor in ocean and coastal resources and maritime administration. This summer, I am attending the PEP program at the SEA campus. I will be mentored by Amy Van Cise and will be working in the acoustics lab.



Lucy Fitzgerald


Lucy completed her B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College in May of 2018. She was an MBL REU intern who joined the Mooney lab in 2016 and studied the effects of hypoxia on developing squid egg capsules. Currently she is working with Casey Zakroff on methods to analyze squid statoliths before she goes off to KAUST in Saudi Arabia to pursue her MSc in Marine Science.





James Peyla

Guest Investigator

James Peyla recently completed his B.S. in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, where he conducted a three-year project on the distribution of Atlantic brief squid (Lolliguncula brevis). A former REU student in the Hanlon Lab at the Marine Biological Laboratory, James is excited to be back in Woods Hole studying northern longfin squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). As a guest investigator in the Mooney Lab, he will be assisting with projects on squid tagging and on the impacts of anthropogenic noise on squid behavior. He will be leaving the lab in the winter for a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to Australia to research the effects of ocean acidification on giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) under Dr. Zoë Doubleday at the University of Adelaide. Upon his return to the U.S., he plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program to study the evolution, ecology, physiology, and/or behavior of cephalopods.



Toni Sleugh

MBL Biological Discovery Summer Undergraduate

Toni, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, joins us from Iowa State University where she is studying biology and environmental studies. She is interested in studying animal behavior and ecology, especially how human actions impact them. She is working with Casey Zakroff on analyzing the phototactic response and swimming behaviors of squid paralarvae reared under ocean acidification.


Jason Dinh

WHOI Summer Student Fellow


Jason is an undergraduate from Duke University joining the lab as a summer student fellow in 2017.  He is working on the coral reef soundscape project and quantifying boat noise at acoustically monitored coral reef sites in the USVI.

Jessie Perelman

Research Assistant

Jessie is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California and is helping our lab with various projects. Primarily, she is working on snapping shrimp acoustic behavior and squid response to anthropogenic noise.

Apryle Panyi

Research Assistant, MBL Biological Discovery Summer Undergraduate

Apryle was a research assistant in our lab working mostly on behaviors in snapping shrimp.

Thea Pisani

Research Assistant

Thea worked on the bioacoustics of the Cape Wind site, analyzing sounds from cusk eels and grey seals.

Jessica Wingar

Guest Student

Guest Student who worked on squid and ocean acidification, assisting with all parts of the project.

Colin Wirth

Research Assistant

Research Assistant who worked on squid and ocean acidification, assisting with all parts of the project. He is leading the experiments on behavioral responses to sound.

Chris Nagle

Guest MSc Student

Chris was an MSc student from Harvard who worked with our lab and Tracy Mincer's Lab studying how fish see and the ingestion rates of bioluminescent plastic.

Doriane Weiler

WHOI Summer Student Fellow

Doriane worked on the squid & ocean acidification project looking at potential impacts on swimming behavior. Check out the WHOI Oceanus article on Doriane.

Aliza Millette

Affiliated MS and PhD student from the University of Hawaii

Aliza worked on the bioacoustics of false killer whales, analyzing the characteristics of their clicks and whistles.

Andrea Schlunk

Guest Investigator

A multitasker, Andrea worked on various squid behavior and ocean acidification projects.

Annamaria Izzi

Guest Investigator

Annamaria worked on multiple acoustic analyses, but on the Cape Wind project in particular.

Jessie Doyle

Guest Student

Worked on fish sounds from the US Virgin Islands. 

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Julia Samson

Guest Investigator and MSc Student

Julia gained her MS from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and is now getting her PhD in mathematical biology and biomechanics from UNC Chapel Hill.

Margot Wilsterman

Guest Student

Margot was a guest student from Connecticut College. She was assisting with the project on behavioral responses of sound in squid, as well as the wind farm acoustics project.

Mary Ann Lee

WHOI Summer Student Fellow

Mary Ann was working on squid behavior and OA. She joins us from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Jordan Carduner

Guest Student - Duke MEM Student

Jordan was a guest student from Duke, part of the Duke-WHOI Fellowship program. He was working on a review and guidelines paper on windfarm passive acoustic monitoring in the U.S.

Aimee Boucher

Guest Student - Duke MEM Student

Aimee was a guest student from Duke, part of the Duke-WHOI Fellowship. She was working on a analyzing the sounds from our Horseshoe Shoals (Cape Wind) recorder.

Samantha Zacarias

Guest Investigator

Sam was a diverse guest investigator, mostly focusing on our cephalopod husbandry and some experimental trials or our squid and cuttlefish behavioral data. She also assisted with passive acoustic recorder deployments.

Alex Sharr

Guest Investigator / Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alex's interests broadly lie in neurobiology. In our lab she has investigated squid statocyst hair cell anatomy and antibiotic induced hair cell death.  Alex received her Bachelors degree from Pomona College in CA.

Sarah Strobel

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow

Studied the hearing of sand lance (Ammodytes americanus). Tested the frequency range and sensitivity to various tones, as well as measured responses to humpback whale "megaclicks."  Her work conducted in our lab was published in the J. of Fish Biology.

Amy Streets

Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Helped us to initiate the work on squid behvaioral responses to sound.