Douglas Nowacek

Nowacek

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
  • Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information

  • Office Location: Duke Univ Marine Lab, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516
  • Office Phone: (252) 504-7566
  • Email Address: doug.nowacek@duke.edu
  • Websites:

Education

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

Research Interests

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

  • Sally Connally Hardie Visiting Researcher. University of St. Andrews, Scotland. 2018
  • Visiting Scholar. University of Tasmania. 2013

Courses Taught

  • 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
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ENVIRON 280LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • ENVIRON 394A: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 461: Ocean Engineering
  • ENVIRON 723A: Offshore Renewable Energy & Wildlife Conservation
  • ENVIRON 784LA: Sound in the Sea: Introduction to Marine Bioacoustics
  • MARSCI 323A: Offshore Renewable Energy & Wildlife Conservation
  • ME 426: Ocean Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Blawas, AM; Nowacek, DP; Rocho-Levine, J; Robeck, TR; Fahlman, A, Scaling of heart rate with breathing frequency and body mass in cetaceans., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, vol 376 no. 1830 (2021) [10.1098/rstb.2020.0223] [abs].
  • Cioffi, WR; Quick, NJ; Foley, HJ; Waples, DM; Swaim, ZT; Shearer, JM; Webster, DL; Friedlaender, AS; Southall, BL; Baird, RW; Nowacek, DP; Read, AJ, Adult male Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) engage in prolonged bouts of synchronous diving, Marine Mammal Science, vol 37 no. 3 (2021), pp. 1085-1100 [10.1111/mms.12799] [abs].
  • Wu, CY; Nowacek, DP; Nousek-McGregor, AE; McGregor, R; Howle, LE, Computational fluid dynamics of flow regime and hydrodynamic forces generated by a gliding North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), Marine Mammal Science, vol 37 no. 3 (2021), pp. 826-842 [10.1111/mms.12798] [abs].
  • Wu, C; Howle, LE; Nowacek, DP, Minimum drag on a three-dimensional North Atlantic right whale model via neutral trim pose, Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol 61 (2021), pp. E996-E997 [abs].
  • 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].