Baleen Whale Behavioral Ecology OverviewTeamPublicationsTechnologies Earth’s largest animals, baleen whales (mysticetes), are challenging to study because they largely reside out of sight below the ocean surface, and they travel great distances. However, the sounds that these giants produce travel far underwater, carrying information about animal presence and behavior. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) thus opens a sonic viewing window through which we can advance both the science and conservation of mysticetes. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) represents important foraging habitat for multiple mysticete species. In the heart of MBNMS the MARS cabled observatory enables continuous monitoring of sound. Integration of PAM with other methods of observation enables more comprehensive understanding of whale behavior in relation to the ecosystem dynamics that sustain their population. Among the soniferous mysticetes, three species are prevalent in the local soundscape: blue, fin, and humpback whales. From integrative studies employing PAM we are discovering how these species succeed in meeting the tremendous energetic demands imposed by their massive bodies and long-distance migrations. We are finding that the whales are closely attuned to the ecosystem dynamics that influence their food supply, on time scales ranging from days to years. We also find evidence of cooperation through long-distance communication that enables more efficient searching for food in the vast and patchy ocean environment. Team Directory John Ryan Senior Research Specialist Danelle E. Cline Senior Software Engineer William Oestreich Postdoctoral Fellow Kelly Benoit-Bird Senior Scientist & Science Chair Carlos A. Rueda Senior Software Engineer Chad Waluk Research Specialist Publications All Publications Smith, K.B., P. Leary, T. Deal, J. Joseph, J. Ryan, C. Miller, C. Dawe, and B. Cray. 2022. Acoustic vector sensor analysis of the Monterey Bay region soundscape and the impact of COVID-19. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151: 2507–2520. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0010162 Oestreich, W.K., B. Abrahms, M.F. McKenna, J.A. Goldbogen, L.B. Crowder, and J.P. Ryan. 2022. Acoustic signature reveals blue whales tune life-history transitions to oceanographic conditions. Functional Ecology, 36: 882–895. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.14013 Ruhl, H.A., J.A. Brown, A.R. Harper, E.L. Hazen, L. deWitt, P. Daniel, A. DeVogelaere, R.M. Kudela, J.P. Ryan, A.D. Fischer, F.E. Muller-Karger, and F.P. Chavez. 2021. Integrating biodiversity and environmental observations in support of national marine sanctuary and large marine ecosystem assessments. Oceanography, 34: 145–155. https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2021.221 Cade, D.E., J.A. Fahlbusch, W.K. Oestreich, J. Ryan, J. Calambokidis, K.P. Findlay, A.S. Friedlaender, E.L. Hazen, S. Mduduzi Seakamela, and J.A. Goldbogen. 2021. Social exploitation of extensive, ephemeral, environmentally controlled prey patches by supergroups of rorqual whales. Animal Behaviour, 182: 251–266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.09.013 Oestreich, W.K., J.A. Fahlbusch, D.E. Cade, J. Calambokidis, T. Margolina, J. Joseph, A.S. Friedlaender, M.F. McKenna, A.K. Stimpert, B.L. Southall, J.A. Goldbogen, and J.P. Ryan. 2020. Animal-borne metrics enable acoustic detection of blue whale migration. Current Biology, 30: 4773–4779.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.08.105 Latest News All News Sorry, no results were found. Technologies All Technologies Vehicle, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROV Ventana Technology ROV Ventana A remotely operated vehicle equipped with a Sea-Bird 19plus V2 CTD package including a dissolved oxygen sensor, transmissometer, and spatial lasers mounted on the main camera. Observatory, Cabled Observatory Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) Technology Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) MARS provides electrical power and data connections for new research instruments in the deep-sea. Data All Data Sorry, no results were found.