Born in the South Euclidean burbs of Cleveland, Ohio, independent producer Ari Daniel gravitated toward science and the natural world at an early age. He was brewed in a brine of educators. His grandmother and both his parents are/were involved in education.

Daniel’s first academic encounter with whales came after his junior year as a summer student fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He helped out on a project involving killer whale calling behavior, and he was hooked on marine mammal communication. He got a master’s degree at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland by training grey seals pups. And he got a Ph.D. from MIT and WHOI, with his advisor Peter Tyack, by traveling north of the Arctic Circle in Norway to explore killer whale communication and behavior.

After earning his Ph.D., Daniel turned to the realm of radio and multimedia to tell stories about science and environment. He knew the audio software from his work with whales, and now he actually understands what his subjects are saying. These days, Daniel produces pieces about science for public radio programs that air nationally, for academic and research institutions, and for nonprofit organizations. (See He uses storytelling to encourage science literacy across all ages.