My research focuses on the acoustic complexity and social behavior of cetaceans. For over a decade, I have been working on research projects all over the world on various species in tropical, temperate and arctic areas.
The experiences gained through my academic trajectory; from graduate work at Dalhousie University, to my fellowships at the Scottish Oceans Institute and Aarhus University; have granted me the analytical skills and strong publication drive learned from a leaders in the field, but also the independence to direct research, supervise graduate students, and coordinate my own field study.
The Dominica Sperm Whale Project has been tracking over 20 families of sperm whales in the Caribbean Sea since 2005. Through 1000s of hours of fieldwork, I have followed calves from birth through weaning and described the social dynamics among family members, as well as between the families in the Caribbean.
I am also passionately driven to share my findings with a wider audience than my scientific peers. With scientific denialism at epidemic levels in today’s society, contributing to public awareness is crucial for scientists now more than ever. I have always felt strongly that the public needs to be connected to biologists undertaking research. A new academic culture which encourages public engagement is needed!
An awareness of the natural world, does not alone motivate the necessary changes. International politics plays a key role in conservation, especially in complex multinational management areas like the Caribbean. As a result, I work closely with governments and NGOs with both national and international agendas.
Ultimately, my generation must be THE generation to enact dramatic changes to our interactions with the oceans. My personal success will stem from endeavoring to help lay the foundation for that change by increasing our knowledge through innovative research, developing awareness of our impacts through education, and promoting action through advocacy.
2017-Present: Adjunct. Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada
2016-Present: VILLUM Research Fellow. Marine Bioacoustics Lab, Aarhus University, Denmark.
2014-2016: FNU Research Fellow. Marine Bioacoustics Lab, Aarhus University, Denmark.
2013: MASTS PECRE Research Fellowship. School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
2012: PhD in Biology. Biology Department, Dalhousie University, Canada.
Thesis title: On the Dynamics of Social Relationships and Vocal Communication between Individuals and Social Units of Sperm Whales. Abstract
2005: MSc in Biology. Biology Department, Dalhousie University, Canada.
Thesis title: Fundamentals of Sperm Whale Societies: care for calves
2003: BSc in Marine Biology. Dalhousie University, Canada.