Why investigate human impacts on whales and dolphins?
Dr. Gordon developed pioneering methods for studying sperm whales and other cetaceans using acoustic (sound-based) techniques to find, follow, and assess the abundance of cetaceans. This emphasis on acoustics has also led to a particular interest in and concern for the potential effects of underwater noise on marine mammals.
Great Moment in the Field:
One recent Earthwatch team had a particularly notable day: “One of the highlights was a day in June: we were crossing the Minch and sighted a total of 320 animals in just 60 nautical miles. The day lasted near on 12 hours due to the number of sightings and the persistence of the common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) who just kept bow riding, leaving us unable to make any ground. White-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), usually shy of boats, even associated with us, and in one memorable encounter, both a group of common dolphins and a group of white-beaked dolphins were riding our bow—a behaviorally and ecologically significant encounter.”