Douglas Nowacek

Image of Douglas Nowacek

Randolph K. Repass and Sally-Christine Rodgers University Associate Professor of Conservation Technology in the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering

Sound propagates very efficiently through sea water, and marine mammals take advantage of this medium to communicate and explore their environment. My research is focused on the link between acoustic and motor behavior in marine mammals, primarily cetaceans and manatees, specifically, how they use sound in ecological processes. The cetaceans, or whales and dolphins, are divided into two main groups, the toothed whales (odontocetes) and the baleen whales (mysticetes). One of my specific areas of research is the use of echolocation and foraging behavior in one of the odontocetes, the bottlenose dolphin. Another focus of my current research is the effect(s) of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Randolph K. Repass and Sally-Christine Rodgers University Associate Professor of Conservation Technology in the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering
  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
Contact Information:
  • Office Phone: (252) 504-7566
  • Email Address: doug.nowacek@duke.edu
Education:

  • Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
  • B.A. Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991

Research Interests:

Sound propagates very efficiently through sea water, and marine mammals take advantage of this medium to communicate and explore their environment. My research is focused on the link between acoustic and motor behavior in marine mammals, primarily cetaceans and manatees, specifically, how they use sound in ecological processes. The cetaceans, or whales and dolphins, are divided into two main groups, the toothed whales (odontocetes) and the baleen whales (mysticetes). One of my specific areas of research is the use of echolocation and foraging behavior in one of the odontocetes, the bottlenose dolphin. Another focus of my current research is the effect(s) of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals.

Specialties:

Acoustics
Micro-electronic mechanical machines

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Visiting Scholar. University of Tasmania. 2013

Courses Taught:
  • BIOLOGY 270A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • BIOLOGY 273LA: Marine Ecology
  • BIOLOGY 279LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study
  • BIOLOGY 384A: Marine Conservation Biology - a Practicum
  • BIOLOGY 773LA: Marine Ecology
  • BIOLOGY 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ECE 384LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ECE 494: Undergraduate Research in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 495: Special Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ECE 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENERGY 395: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects
  • ENVIRON 270A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • ENVIRON 273LA: Marine Ecology
  • ENVIRON 280LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 346A: Marine Conservation Policy - a Practicum
  • ENVIRON 384A: Marine Conservation Biology - a Practicum
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 393A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 394A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 709A: Conservation Biology and Policy
  • ENVIRON 746A: Marine Conservation Summer Institute
  • ENVIRON 773LA: Marine Ecology
  • ENVIRON 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • EOS 280LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • EOS 374LA: Marine Ecology
  • PUBPOL 246A: Marine Conservation Policy - a Practicum
  • PUBPOL 946A: Marine Conservation Summer Institute

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Friedlaender, AS; Goldbogen, JA; Nowacek, DP; Read, AJ; Johnston, D; Gales, N, Feeding rates and under-ice foraging strategies of the smallest lunge filter feeder, the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)., The Journal of experimental biology, vol 217 no. Pt 16 (2014), pp. 2851-2854 [10.1242/jeb.106682] [abs].
    • Crain, DD; Friedlaender, AS; Johnston, DW; Nowacek, DP; Roberts, BL; Urian, KW; Waples, DM; Read, AJ, A quantitative analysis of the response of short-finned pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhynchus, to biopsy sampling, Marine Mammal Science, vol 30 no. 2 (2014), pp. 819-826 [10.1111/mms.12074] [abs].
    • Wilson, RM; Chanton, JP; Balmer, BC; Nowacek, DP, An evaluation of lipid extraction techniques for interpretation of carbon and nitrogen isotope values in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) skin tissue, Marine Mammal Science, vol 30 no. 1 (2014), pp. 85-103 [10.1111/mms.12018] [abs].
    • Nousek-McGregor, AE; Miller, CA; Moore, MJ; Nowacek, DP, Effects of body condition on buoyancy in endangered North Atlantic right whales., Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, vol 87 no. 1 (2014), pp. 160-171 [10.1086/671811] [abs].
    • Risch, D; Gales, NJ; Gedamke, J; Kindermann, L; Nowacek, DP; Read, AJ; Siebert, U; Van Opzeeland, IC; Van Parijs, SM; Friedlaender, AS, Mysterious bio-duck sound attributed to the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis)., Biology Letters, vol 10 no. 4 (2014) [10.1098/rsbl.2014.0175] [abs].