The Sensory Physiology and Sensory Ecology Lab
An Introduction to Dr. Mooney's Research
|Enlarge ImageThe SPASE Lab organization. We typically start with questions and measurements of the organism and place them in the results in the context of ecological interactions and anthropogenic impacts. Our work as a bioacoustics focus.
|Enlarge ImageAran Mooney on a research cruise in Icelandic waters.
|Enlarge ImageLoligo pealeii (Tom Kleindinst)
|Enlarge ImageSpotted dolphins riding our wake
Research InterestsWelcome to the Sensory Physiology and Sensory Ecology Lab website! Our research is in the sensory ecology and physiology of animals, primarily marine organisms. Specifically I am interested in what animals hear, how they use sound, and how these adaptations relate to their role in the environment (e.g., predator detection, prey localization, habitat identification, and conspecific communication). This research has involved hearing work on dolphins, false killer whales, beluga whales, finless porpoise, squid, cuttlefish, coral reef fish, temperate fish, brown bears, and polar bears to name a few. I have primarily used auditory evoked potentials as the tool to investigate the frequencies and hearing sensitivity of various animals as well as has how they process sounds. Some of this work stems from examining the potential influences of increasing human-produced noise in the marine environment, but my primary interests originate in examining the relationship of sensory physiology/sensory anatomy to animal behavior and ecological relationships. I 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 !
- Last January, Julia, Max and Aran went to the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in San Francisco. Check out our presentation abstracts here:
Julia - cephalopods and sound
Max - squid OA
Aran - cetacean hearing
- Check out our new article about our research on sound in the sea and wind farm development.
- Aran was just in Alaska studying the hearing of beluga whales. See the update on our new page of our Sensory Ecology blog.
- Max Kaplan joined the lab as a WHOI-MIT Joint Program graduate student this past fall. Max, was a Summer Student Fellow in 2011 and did some fantastic work on squid and ocean acidification (his work has won several awards).
- Our work was recently featured by the BBC !
- Dr. Mooney was just featured in the Vineyard Gazette, commenting on wind farms and noise.
Mooney, TA, Yamato, M, and Branstetter, BK. 2012. Hearing in cetaceans: From natural history to experimental biology. 63: 197-246. Advances in Marine Biology. (invited review) *Cover Article.
Strobel, SM and Mooney, TA. 2012. Detection of low frequency tones and whale predator sounds by American sand lance Ammodytes americanus. 2012. Journal of Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03423.x.
Mooney, TA,Hanlon, RT, Christensen-Dalsgaard, J, Madsen, PT, Ketten, DR, Nachtigall, PE. 2012. “The potential for sound sensitivity in cephalopods.” in: The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (eds). Popper, A, Hawkins A. Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, New York. pg 125-128.
Contact InformationBiology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd
Marine Reserach Facility - MS#50
Woods Hole, MA, 02543
(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
2003 - M.S. in Zoology - University of Hawaii at Manoa
2000 - B.S. in Biology (with Spanish minor) - University of New Hampshire