News from the Read Lab

Atlantic BRS – First CEE of 2021 - On July 30, we conducted a successful Controlled Exposure Experiment (CEE) with thirteen satellite-tagged Cuvier’s beaked whales Ziphius cavirostris, off Cape Hatteras. These whales were exposed to Mid-Frequency Active Sonar (MFAS) signals in a highly controlled experimental setting. The MFAS signals were produced by the USS Farragut, a guided missile destroyer based in Norfolk, Virginia. CEEs ...
First Tag Deployments for Atlantic BRS 2021 - After a long wait for good weather and engine repairs to the R/V Richard T. Barber, we were very excited to kick off the first round of tag deployments for the 2021 Atlantic Behavioral Response Study (BRS). It felt great to be back in the field and we made the most of some wonderful offshore ...
Atlantic BRS 2020 – First CEE - On Wednesday, July 16th we completed a successful experimental playback of Mid-Frequency Active Sonar (MFAS) signals to an adult male Cuvier’s beaked whale off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as part of the Atlantic Behavioral Response study. This work is designed to improve our understanding of how these acoustically sensitive whales respond to such sounds. Our work ...
Atlantic BRS 2019 – Multi-Scale CEE -     On August 6th, we conducted a successful Controlled Exposure Experiment with a group of four Cuvier’s beaked whales that included an individual equipped with a satellite-linked dive recorder (Zc93) and another whale (Zc19_218a) equipped with a Digital Acoustic Tag (DTAG). This is the first time we have been able to deploy both types ...
Atlantic BRS 2019 Underway - The first field season of our 2019 Atlantic Behavioral Response Study (BRS) is underway.  The primary objective of our field work is to examine the behavioral response of Cuvier’s beaked whales to tactical mid-frequency active sonar (MFAS) signals. We use Controlled Exposure Experiments (CEEs), in which the received levels of these signals are carefully calibrated, ...
2018 BRS – Second Phase – First Update - Last week we welcomed Jessica Aschettino to our field team to deploy satellite-linked dive recorders for the second phase of the 2018 Behavioral Response Study, funded by NAVFAC Atlantic (U.S. Navy). Daniel Webster, who usually deploys satellite tags for us, injured his hand and was unavailable. Jessica, who works for HDR in Virginia Beach, kindly ...
Wrapping Up The First Phase of the 2018 Atlantic BRS - We have just wrapped up field work in the first phase of the 2018 Atlantic Behavioral Response Study. We’ll take a month off and then start again in the middle of July with a new round of tag deployments and Controlled Exposure Experiments (CEEs).   On June 13th we conducted our second CEE of the ...
Atlantic BRS 2018 Field Work Second Update - During the past week we finished deploying satellite tags for the first leg of the 2018 Atlantic Behavioral Response (BRS) study. Then we conducted our first Controlled Exposure Experiment (CEE) with a mid-frequency sonar system deployed from a Navy destroyer. We also conducted another CEE with our scaled sound source, so all together it was ...
Atlantic BRS 2018 Field Work Update - Despite more unsettled weather, we made significant progress on the Atlantic BRS project this past week. We spent three very long days on the water with two, and sometimes three, boats working about 40 miles from shore.  Our field days begin at 4:30 in the morning and often don’t end until after 9:00 PM.  On ...
Field Work Underway for Atlantic BRS 2018 - It has been a challenging start to field work for the 2018 Atlantic Behavioral Response Study. Windy conditions have kept us off the water on several days and when we have been offshore, our study animals have not been very co-operative. But despite these challenges, we managed to complete our first Controlled Exposure Experiment (CEE) ...