Welcome to the Sensory Physiology and Sensory Ecology Lab website! Our research is in the sensory biology of animals, primarily marine organisms. Specifically I am interested in how these animals detect the world around them, what they detect (i.e., what's important to the organism), and how these animals then relate to their environment (e.g., predator detection, prey localization, habitat identification, and conspecific communication). Our work in integrative in techniques and comparative in its research subjects. Our reserach involves dolphins, false killer whales, belugas, finless porpoise,risso's dolphin, squid, cuttlefish, coral reef fish, temperate fish, brown bears, polar bears, coral reef assemblages, and temparate soundscapes to name a few. Much of our work addressing bioacoustic related questions, but we certainly not limited to that modality. Some of this work stems from examining the potential influences of increasing human-produced noise in the marine environment or other stressors such as ocean acidification or fisheries bycatch. But our primary interests originate in examining the relationship of sensory physiology/sensory anatomy to animal behavior and ecological relationships. We have also addressed communication, bioacoustic tagging, and the sending-receiving of underwater acoustic signals using passive acoustic monitoring devices.
Check out our research updates on our Blog:
Read about our research expeditions and travels!
News and Updates !
- We recently published work on hearing tests in a wild population of beluga whales. The work is quite novel in that it describes the hearing abilities of a wild, presumably healthy, population of wild odontocetes. The work was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. It was also summarized on the WHOI website and in other places such as:
Scientific American, "Wild Beluga Whales Pass Hearing Test" by Christopher
Intagliata - May 20, 2014
- Aran Mooney was recently featured on NPR's Living On Earth segment, discussing sounds in the sea.
- Read our new article on the hearing abilities of Yangtze River finless porpoise and a WHOI summary of the work.
- Check out our recent article on Ocean Acidification in WHOI's Oceanus.
- Casey and Aran attended the Ocean Acidification Principal Investigators' Meeting, in Washington, DC. There they presented their past and recent projects addressing how squid appear to be impacted by ocean acidification. Casey Zakroff officially starts as a WHOI-MIT Joint Program PhD student this January.
- Max and Aran had a new paper come out in PLoS One on the effects of ocean acidification on squid.
- Max and Aran's recent research on coral reef soundscapes in the US Virgin Islands was recently featured as a WHOI Image of the Day.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd
Marine Reserach Facility - MS#50
Woods Hole, MA, 02543
amooney at whoi.edu
(508) 289-3714 phone
(508) 457-2089 fax
(508) 289-3260 lab
2008 - Ph.D. in Zoology (with a Marine Biology emphasis) - University of Hawaii at Manoa