Randolph K. Repass and Sally-Christine Rodgers University Distinguished Professor of Conservation Technology in Environment and 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 Distinguished Professor of Conservation Technology in Environment and Engineering
- Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative
- Office Location: Duke Univ Marine Lab, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516
- Office Phone: (252) 504-7566
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
- B.A. Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991
Link between acoustic and motor behavior in marine mammals, specifically, how they use sound in ecological processes. Development of tools for marine conservation research
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions
- Visiting Scholar. University of Tasmania. 2013
- BIOLOGY 279LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- BIOLOGY 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- ECE 291: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- ECE 292: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- ECE 384LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- ECE 461: Ocean Engineering
- ECE 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- ENVIRON 280LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- ENVIRON 461: Ocean Engineering
- ENVIRON 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
- ME 426: Ocean Engineering
In the News
- The Whale Whisperers: How Moms Talk to Calves Without Alerting Predators (Oct 10, 2019 | Nicholas School of the Environment)
- Man-Made Sounds Damage Marine Life. Duke Researchers Are Trying to Protect Them (Mar 26, 2019)
- At Beaufort, the Ocean Is For Engineering Study, Too (Jul 17, 2018 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Duke Marine Lab's Stunning Journey to Study Antarctic Whales (Jan 19, 2018 | Nicholas School of the Environment)
- Turn Down the Volume: New Guide Helps Reduce Seismic Surveys Impacts on Marine Species (Sep 11, 2016)
- A group of scientists is begging Obama to save right whales (Apr 15, 2016 | The Huffington Post)
- Asking President Obama to Save Right Whales (Apr 14, 2016)
- Douglas Nowacek comments: Deafening Atlantic oil prospecting to go ahead despite threat to marine life (Mar 30, 2016 | The Guardian)
- Douglas Nowacek: Marine life needs protection from noise pollution (Sep 14, 2015 | Scientific American, Nature)
- New International Standards Needed To Manage Ocean Noise (Sep 2, 2015)
- Researchers recommend treating ocean seismic testing as pollution (Sep 2, 2015 | The News & Observer)
- Nicholas' Nowacek Testifies Before Congress On Impacts Of Seismic Activity On Marine Life (Jul 15, 2015)
- Douglas Nowacek comments: Science panel weighs in on potential impacts of seismic testing off N.C. coast (Apr 28, 2015 | WHQR-Wilmington)
- A whale of a fight is brewing over Atlantic coastal drilling (Feb 25, 2015 | McClatchy DC)
- The whale savers (Oct 20, 2014 | Christian Science Monitor)
- Minke Whales Lunge Up To 100 Times An Hour To Feed Under Sea Ice (Aug 14, 2014)
- Blawas, AM; Nowacek, DP; Allen, AS; Rocho-Levine, J; Fahlman, A, Respiratory sinus arrhythmia and submersion bradycardia in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)., The Journal of Experimental Biology, vol 224 no. Pt 1 (2021) [10.1242/jeb.234096] [abs].
- van Hoeck, RV; Paxton, AB; Bohnenstiehl, DWR; Taylor, JC; Fodrie, FJ; Nowacek, DP; Voss, CM; Peterson, CH, Soundscapes of natural and artificial temperate reefs: similar temporal patterns but distinct spectral content, Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol 649 (2020), pp. 35-51 [10.3354/meps13434] [abs].
- Davis, GE; Baumgartner, MF; Corkeron, PJ; Bell, J; Berchok, C; Bonnell, JM; Bort Thornton, J; Brault, S; Buchanan, GA; Cholewiak, DM; Clark, CW; Delarue, J; Hatch, LT; Klinck, H; Kraus, SD; Martin, B; Mellinger, DK; Moors-Murphy, H; Nieukirk, S; Nowacek, DP; Parks, SE; Parry, D; Pegg, N; Read, AJ; Rice, AN; Risch, D; Scott, A; Soldevilla, MS; Stafford, KM; Stanistreet, JE; Summers, E; Todd, S; Van Parijs, SM, Exploring movement patterns and changing distributions of baleen whales in the western North Atlantic using a decade of passive acoustic data., Global Change Biology, vol 26 no. 9 (2020), pp. 4812-4840 [10.1111/gcb.15191] [abs].
- Goldbogen, JA; Cade, DE; Wisniewska, DM; Potvin, J; Segre, PS; Savoca, MS; Hazen, EL; Czapanskiy, MF; Kahane-Rapport, SR; DeRuiter, SL; Gero, S; Tønnesen, P; Gough, WT; Hanson, MB; Holt, MM; Jensen, FH; Simon, M; Stimpert, AK; Arranz, P; Johnston, DW; Nowacek, DP; Parks, SE; Visser, F; Friedlaender, AS; Tyack, PL; Madsen, PT; Pyenson, ND, Why whales are big but not bigger: Physiological drivers and ecological limits in the age of ocean giants., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol 366 no. 6471 (2019), pp. 1367-1372 [10.1126/science.aax9044] [abs].
- Parks, SE; Cusano, DA; Van Parijs, SM; Nowacek, DP, Acoustic crypsis in communication by North Atlantic right whale mother-calf pairs on the calving grounds., Biology Letters, vol 15 no. 10 (2019) [10.1098/rsbl.2019.0485] [abs].