Episode 6 – Dolphins in Distress: The Taiwanese White Dolphin

This week’s episode focuses on the Taiwanese white dolphin. It was produced by Duke undergraduate students Pavel Pivarshev and Tony Garcia in the summer of 2020. Pavel and Tony explore the history of humpback white dolphins in Taiwan and assess the threat these small marine mammals are facing, particularly through fisheries interactions. They ask experts from the Wild at Heart, Legal Defense Association in Taiwan and Florida International University to weigh in on the magnitude and complexity of these issues and discuss ways we can all act to protect endangered species such as these charismatic dolphins.

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Episode Hosts

Antonio Garcia headshot

Antonio Garcia is a senior at Duke University majoring in Biology with a concentration in Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics with minors in both Chemistry and French. His interests in anatomy and evolution led him to pursue a major in biology, but he’s also quite fond of psychology and neuroscience. Antonio is passionate about pursuing a career in the medical field; specifically, he aspires to go to medical school to study cardiology. Antonio is also involved on campus as a Global Education Ambassador and as an executive member of Duke Rotaract, an extension of the global organization, Rotary, which is a humanitarian organization that strives for economic development, disease prevention/treatment, global education, and peace and conflict prevention/resolution. 

Instagram: @antonio.garcia18

Antonio Garcia headshot

Pavel Pivarshev is a senior majoring in Biology and Visual Arts. He is interested in physiology and evolution in terms of biology, but is also otherwise involved with performance, design, and painting at Duke.

Twitter and Instagram: @peebsbaby


Andrew Read head shot

Dr. Jeremy Kiszka, assistant professor of  Biological Sciences at Florida International University

Dr. Kiszka is a marine mammologist at Florida International University who studies the ecology of marine megafauna in marine ecosystems.

Andrew Read head shot

Robin Winkler, JD

Robin Winkler is a U.S.-born Taiwanese environmentalist who works with the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association and the Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union in Taiwan.

Series Host

Lisa Campbell head shot

Dr. Reny Tyson Moore host the Whale Pod series. She is a broadly trained interdisciplinary behavioral ecologist with expertise in marine mammal bioacoustics, photographic-identification, population biology, and bio-logging tools and techniques. She is currently a staff scientist with Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program and a contractor for NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources through Ocean Associates Inc. Reny received her PhD from Duke University in Marine Science and Conservation, where she used high-resolution acoustic and movement tags to study the fine-scale foraging behaviors of humpback whales along the Antarctic Western Peninsula. Before this, Reny obtained her BSc and MSc from Florida State University where she examined nonlinearites in cetacean vocalizations and determined the abundance and community structure of bottlenose dolphins in the Big Bend of Florida. She went on to apply her skills as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Scientific Committee of Antarctic Science Fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Science, based at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, and then as a postdoctoral scientist with the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. Reny has published or been a co-author on many peer- reviewed scientific articles, technical reports, conference papers, children’s books, and conference and workshop presentations. She also serves as a mentor and teacher for undergraduate and graduate students at various institutions, including the Duke University Marine Lab.

Supplemental material for this episode