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Biology Seminar - Noisy Oceans, Hungrier Whales?

  • Friday, October 16, 2015
  • 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
  • Science Building 010

Stacy De Ruiter PhD, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Calvin College

People generate all kinds of noise underwater in the oceans. It includes not only the noise made by vessel engines, but a wide variety of other intentionally-produced sounds, like the airgun shots used for oil and seafloor exploration and the mid-frequency (MFA) sonar sounds used by navies to search for submarines.  Since whales use sound as a primary means of communicating, sensing their environment, and looking for food, all these sounds have potential to affect their behavior.  This talk will explain how we use animal-borne tags attached to whales to track their movements and behavior underwater.  It will focus on what we’ve learned from these tags about how whales change their behavior – especially feeding behavior - when exposed to human sounds like military sonar.

October 2015
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