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The Sensory Physiology and Sensory Ecology (SPASE) Lab

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The Sensory Physiology and Sensory Ecology (SPASE) Lab

Lab Members

Aran Mooney

Aran is interested in how animals detect the world around them. How they find food, communicate, navigate and avoid predators.  And how humans are impact an animal's sensory biology.  Our lab generally takes a bioacoutics approach to investigating these ideas but we are open to all sorts of integrative and comparative methods to get at cool research questions. We examined sensory biology in a range of taxa, from bears to fish, but we tend to focus on odontocetes and cephalopods.

Ashlee Lillis

Ashlee is Postdoc Scholar for NCSU. Her expertise is in larval reponses to sound.

Max Kaplan (WHOI-MIT PhD student and former lab Summer Student Fellow)

As a SSF, Max studied the impacts of high CO2 levels and ocean acidification conditions on paralarval squid.  He measured impacts on development, morphology and behavior.  He's just formulating his dissertation ideas.  Max received his Bachelors Degree from the University of St. Andrews.

Casey Zakroff (WHOI-MIT Joint Program Student)

Casey joined the Joint Program in the midst of his M.S. at King Abdullah University of Science and Techology in Saudi Arabia. He's our cephalopod eco-phsyiology guru. He is the PhD student lead on our squid OA project.

Tammy Silva
(Guest Studnet from UMass Dartmouth)

Working on odontocete bioacoustics, including Hawaiian spotted dolphins and odontocetes of Stellwagen Bank Nat'l Marine Sanctuary. Tammy is working in our lab (and the lab of Laela Sayigh) and earning her PhD from UMass Dartmouth.

Colin Wirth

Colin is a Research  Assistant working on squid and ocean acification, assiting with all parts of the project. He is leading the experiments on behavioral responses to sound.


Thea Pisani

Thea is working on the bioacoustics of the Cape Wind site, analysing sounds from cusk eels and grey seals. 

Chris Nagle

Chris is a MS student from Harvard working with our lab and Tracy Mincer's Lab. He's studying how fish see and the ingestion rates of bioluminescent plastic.

Chloe is the official lab dog and the unofficial mascott of our building and WHOI. Chloe specializes in sleeping and chasing tennis balls (she's WHOI Champion of tennis ball retrieving).  When not found at either of these activities, she's probably snuck off down the hall to beg for treats.  

Aliza Millette
(Affilated MS and PhD student from the University of Hawaii)
Aliza is working on the bioacoustics of false killer whales, analyzing the characteristics of their clickcs and whistles.

Past Lab Members

Doriane Wheeler  (Summer Student Fellow) check out her profile here.

Andrea Schlunk (Guest Investigator)
A multi-tasker, working squid behavior and ocean acidification.

Jessie Doyle (Guest Student) 
Worked on fish sounds from the US Virgin Islands.

Annamaria Izzi  (Guest Investigator)
Worked on fish sounds, soundscapes and baseline monitoring of windfarm noise.

Julia Samson (Guest Investigator and Masters Student)

Julia gained her MS from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and is now getting her PhD in mathematical biology and biomechanics from UNC Chapel Hill.

Margot Wilsterman

was a guest student from Connecticut College. She was assiting with the project on behavioral reposnes of sound in squid, as well as the windfarm acoustics project.

Mary Ann Lee was a WHOI Summer Student Fellow, 2013.

She was working on squid behavior and OA. She joins us from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Jordan Carduner (Duke MEM student)