Animal Bioacoustics

Technology. Ecology. Noise

Animal Bioacoustics

Michelle Fournet

I'm a PhD student in ORCAA using passive acoustic monitoring and array localization to understand the role of non-song vocalizations in humpback whale communication, and the assess the impact of vessel noise on humpback communication. I'm an admitted baleen whale junkie (no hard feelings to the dolphin-killer-whale-sperm-whale folk out there). I'm also keen on terrestrial acoustics, cultural transmission, animal cognition, and species resilience. When I'm not working on data or in the field you can find me hiking with my dogs or tending to my garden. Follow my work at: www.mfournet.wordpress.com

Homepage: http://mfournet.wordpress.com

Cultural Phenomenon

One of the special things about studying marine megafauna is how completely and unequivocally devoted their fans are. Judging from the popularity of Roger Payne’s best selling  1970 LP “Song of the Humpback Whale”, I think it’s fair to rank humpback whales  among rock idols like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Madonna in terms of popularity. I feel […]

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Goodbye Glacier Bay

The 2016 Alaskan field season is officially over. I can drag my feet and hang my head all I want, but the acoustic and behavioral data collection for 2016 is done and the process of studying for my comprehensive exams is in full swing (I’m taking a short break from outlining the management procedures of […]

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Watch and Listen: fieldwork isn’t over yet

My broken heart limped off of Strawberry Island a few weeks ago on a day when the fog was too thick to permit my sentimental heart watch the island fade into the distance. But while our field season on the island had come to an end, my field work for the summer was not quite […]

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The Little Things

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-1824″ src=”https://mfournet.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/img_1169.jpg” alt=”IMG_1169″ width=”5184″ height=”3456″ />What is 5 1/2 feet long, weighs 135 pounds, and isn’t an intern? My favorite odontocete: <i>Phocoena phocoena</i>, the harbor porpoise. Due to their vessel aversion they are slightly hard to study, and their distribution, population structure, and acoustic behavior in the Park is still largely unknown. Harbor porpoise, while […]

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Meet Cervantes

Going to bed (and by bed I mean tent) on the island is easy. It is often rainy and cold;  recently the days have been growing shorter revealing black starless nights that challenge my trust of these old woods, and when the weather is clear enough to work our days can be long. But occasionally […]

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The Talking Earth

*This post is dedicated to my mom, who taught me how to read and how to listen* When I was a small child my mother read a book called “The Talking Earth” out loud to my sister and I. As an adult I can’t quite remember the details, but it was about a Seminole girl alone […]

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Find your park

The marine forecast is calling for 25-knot winds and 5-foot seas in Glacier Bay National Park today. Yesterday, when we were tightening the last nylocks on our hydrophone landers, and working out the last details of our array deployment, folks were pretty keen to remind us that the weather was going to kick up. I […]

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Finding something true

The ORCAA Lab recently returned from the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s (SMM) Biennial Meeting in San Francisco.  It was a whirlwind to say the least. Of the 2,600+ marine mammal scientists, professionals, and students in attendance I’d be pretty surprised if more than 10 or 15 escaped the week’s activity without feeling exhausted. This was […]

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Full Circle

“It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak and another to hear” -Henry David Thoreau  As a bioacoustician this is one of my favorite quotes.  Admittedly I’ve been including it somewhat frequently lately in various things that I’m working on (preamble to a future dissertation perhaps?). The goal of my work is fundamentally to describe […]

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Experiencing Data

Any student who has worked with me knows that there are many things, sometimes conflicting, that I value about the field of wildlife science.  When running a field team I value (1) the significance of the field experience to my students, and to those with whom we regularly interact (including but not limited to the public, […]

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