Ellen Garland completed her Ph.D. in Bioacoustics in the Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory at the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2011. Her research focused on the cultural transmission of humpback whale song and metapopulation structure in the western and central South Pacific Ocean. She then undertook a three-year National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council) postdoctoral fellowship at the Marine Mammal Laboratory (AFSC, NMFS, NOAA) in Seattle, USA, investigating geographic variation in vocalizations from sympatric populations of beluga whales in the Alaskan Arctic. In 2015 she was awarded a Royal Society Newton International Fellowship to continue my work on humpback whale song culture at the University of St Andrews, UK. She subsequently was awarded a five-year Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2017 to expand her work on song culture, learning and function. Her board research interests include animal culture, social learning, bioacoustics, and behavioral ecology. Her main research focuses on cetaceans, and in particular the cultural transmission, vocal learning, and function of humpback whale song. She is also interested in vocal sequence analysis techniques and using similarity in vocal displays to define population structures for conservation management.
Shane Gero is a Canadian whale biologist whose research is at the forefront of understanding cetacean societies, communication systems, and their cultures. He is the Founder of The Dominica Sperm Whale Project, a long-term research program focused on the sperm whale families living in the Eastern Caribbean, which has provided unprecedented detail about the lives of these enigmatic ocean nomads. Through thousands of hours of observation since 2005, his and the DSWP team’s research focuses on the behavioral ecology of whales and publishes on topics as diverse as anthropogenic disturbance, diet, f oraging ecology, habitat use, acoustic communication, whale culture, genetic population structure, animal social networks, and population biology. Shane is also the Biology Lead for Project CETI, an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, TED Audacious Project applying advanced machine learning and gentle robotics to decipher sperm whale communication. Gero earned his PhD at Dalhousie University and is currently a Scientist-In-Residence at Ottawa’s Carleton University. Gero is also Adjunct at Dalhousie University, an Affiliated Researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark, and a National Geographic Explorer.
Portrait Credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic.
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