News from the Read Lab

Atlantic BRS 2017 Update - Last week we completed the first component of field work in the 2017 Atlantic Behavioral Response Study (ABRS). In this first phase of the field experiment we worked with Daniel Webster of the Cascade Research Collective to deploy satellite-linked dive recorders on nine short-finned pilot whales and five Cuvier’s beaked whales. All of the tagged ...
Congratulations to Brianna Elliott - Congratulations to Brianna for winning the Archie Carr Student Award for Best Conservation Poster at this year’s International Sea Turtle Symposium held in (wait for it…) Las Vegas. Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas  
SEAMAMMS 2017 - More than 140 students, educators and environmental professionals took part in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS) here at the Duke Marine Lab last weekend.  Undergraduate and graduate students presented their research findings on marine mammal biology and conservation. Attendees also took part in a panel discussion about the future of the Endangered Species Act ...
New Paper on Pilot Whale Diving Behavior - Nicola Quick is the senior author on a new paper on the diving behavior of short-finned pilot whales published in Scientific Reports. We used Hidden Markov Models (HMM) to characterize states of diving behaviour and the transitions between states in short-finned pilot whales. We used three parameters (number of buzzes, maximum dive depth and duration) measured in ...
New Paper on Foraging Behaviour of Hawaiian Monk Seals - Kenady Wilson has published the first paper from her dissertation in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The paper describes the foraging behavior of  monk seals in the main Hawaiian Islands, using simultaneous deployments of accelerometers, seal-mounted video cameras and GPS tags. Very cool work.
Ocean Station Obama - The Palmer LTER crew recognized President Obama’s efforts to combat global warming by collecting climate data at an oceanographic station they named for the 44th president.  The scientific crew, including our own Dave Johnston, who are on a five-week expedition aboard the U.S. icebreaker Laurence M. Gould, will stop at Ocean Station Obama, located at ...
BOEM Denies Atlantic Seismic Permits - On Friday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) denied six applications to conduct seismic surveys with air guns in Atlantic waters. This puts a stop, at least for now, to efforts to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic and helps to safeguard the endangered North Atlantic right whale, together with other vulnerable marine biota.
Last Chance for the Vaquita - In April Andy will join a team of international experts who will attempt to capture some of the last remaining vaquitas and move them into a sanctuary in the Upper Gulf of California. This ex-situ conservation action is part of a last-ditch attempt to prevent the extinction of the species. The action has been sanctioned ...
More on Vaquita Conservation - CIRVA, the international recovery team for the vaquita, has asked an international group of experts to consider ex situ (out-of-habitat) options for conservation of the species. These options include the capture and housing of vaquitas in the Gulf of California.  You can read about this approach in a news piece in Science. Presidents Pena Nieto and Obama recently announced ...
Field Work Update -   After a couple weeks of wind and rain, the weather gods smiled on us last week, and afforded us a chance to start our third year of satellite tagging work off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with Daniel Webster of Cascadia Research Collective. To date we have tagged forty short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), eight ...