My research interests span STEM education and learning, physiological ecology, and marine mammal related topics. My undergraduate researchers work on projects related to the effects of domoic acid on marine mammals, marine debris, energetics and physiology of large vertebrates and more.
If you have ever felt exhausted after attending a concert it was not just the late night to blame! Just as talking louder than normal actually costs the concert-goer extra energy, the increasing noise in the oceans may also cause a problem for marine mammals which rely on sound for communication. In this ONR funded research our team has measured the cost of sound production in bottlenose dolphin and compared the costs of different sound types. Currently, we are using these data to model these costs in other cetacean species. NMFS Permit #19590.
Researchers have long been interested in thermoregulation in elephants because of their large body size and their conspiciously large ears. But ears are only part of the story. This research investigated how water use for thermoregulatory purposes can drive landscape level patterns of habitat use and importantly, demonstrates the power of physiological based modeling to predict landscape level patterns.
The Biology of Blubber
Blubber is a dynamic, multifunctional tissue in marine mammals and is definitely more than "just fat"! This research investigated how the thermal and buoyancy properties of blubber change throughout ontogeny in the bottlenose dolphin.