Researcher biography


Master of Arts in Biology, Miami University, USA
Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, Texas A&M University, USA

Project title:

The role of cognition in determining the behavioural response of humpback whales to sound stimuli

Project description:

Baleen whale hearing and cognition are poorly understood, hindering our ability to address anthropogenic threats such as increasing ocean noise. This project aims to provide insight into whale sound perception by comparing how migrating humpback whales change their behaviour in response to various sound stimuli, exploring if context, familiarity, and ‘meaning’ may explain their differing reactions. Using these findings, we will test for an acoustic deterrent signal (aka ‘pinger’) to reduce baleen whale entanglement in fishing gear/shark nets. Results will also guide mitigation policies, as we predict sound type, in addition to factors like received level, should be considered.


Assoc. Prof. Rebecca Dunlop and Prof. Michael Noad