NEFSC Passive Acoustic Group

Acoustics Group: Denise, Sofie, Dani & Genevieve

Denise, Sofie, Danielle, and Genevieve outside NEFSC. Photo Credit: Matt Lougee




Sofie Van Parijs

Sofie Van Parijs is the program leader for the passive acoustics group within the Protected Species Branch at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. We work on passive acoustic research topics for all marine animals in the ocean, with a focus on the northwestern Atlantic region.


Denise Risch

Denise Risch is a senior bioacoustician in the group working primarily on minke, fin, humpback and North Atlantic right whale acoustic ecology and ocean noise research.


Danielle Cholewiak

Danielle Cholewiak is a senior bioacoustician in the group working primarily on towed array data collected from our vessel based stock assessment surveys as well as ocean noise research.


Genevieve Davis

Genevieve Davis was a NOAA Hollings scholar in our group working on North Atlantic right whale calling behavior across seasons. She graduated from Binghamton University in 2011 after which she became a research analyst in our group. Currently she works on minke whale and North Atlantic right whale acoustic ecology.


Samara Haver

Samara graduated from Colorado College in 2010 and worked in our group as a summer intern in 2011. Before joining the acoustics team she worked at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. Currently, Samara is working on minke whale and North Atlantic Cod acoustic ecology.


Steven Brady

Steven Brady is a postdoctoral researcher working to incorporate acoustic detections into estimates of right whale demographics. He recently joined our group after defending his dissertation in evolutionary ecology at the Yale Forestry School, where he studied population level consequences of roads and runoff on wetland amphibians.

Former research assistants:

Keith Hernandez: (NOAA Hollings Scholar summer 2010) current graduate student at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, California

Sarah Mussoline: (NOAA Hollings Scholar summer 2007) also past research assistant in Mark Baumgartner's lab at WHOI

Joy Stanistreet: (NOAA Hollings Scholar summer 2008) current graduate student at Duke University

Elizabeth Vu: (NOAA Hollings Scholar summer 2007) current graduate student at Scripps Institute of Oceanography Whale Acoustics Lab

Jillian Vitacco: current graduate student at University of Santa Cruz, Long Marine Laboratory

Former PhDs:

Dr. Robert Valtierra: (2013. "Source localization of narrow band signals in multipath environments, with application to marine mammals". Mechanical Engineering Department, Boston University) after helping with many of our engineering queries, Rob has moved on, but not without leaving us some of his masterpieces.

Dr. Ilse van Opzeeland: (2010. "Acoustic ecology of marine mammals in polar oceans". Polar and Marine Research Ocean Acoustics Lab, Alfred Wegener Institute) current researcher at Alfred Wegener Institute.


NOAA Hollings Scholarship (

Julianne Gurnee (Hollings Scholar Summer 2013)
Julia Luthringer (Hollings Scholar Summer 2012)
Genevieve Davis (Hollings Scholar Summer 2010)
Keith Hernandez (Hollings Scholar Summer 2010)
Taryn Overton (Hollings Scholar Summer 2009)
Michelle McEachern (Hollings Scholar Summer 2009)
Amy Rhoads (Hollings Scholar Summer 2008)
Joy Stanistreet (Hollings Scholar Summer 2008)
Sarah Mussoline (Hollings Scholar Summer 2007)
Elizabeth Vu (Hollings Scholar Summer 2007)
Shonda Gaylord (Hollings Scholar Summer 2007)
Rachael Dickey (Hollings Scholar Summer 2006)
Charles White (Hollings Scholar Summer 2006)

PEP program (

Myya Jackson (PEP Summer 2012)
Danielle Rodriguez (PEP Summer 2012)
James Lewis (PEP Summer 2011)
Rachel Rochon (PEP Summer 2010)
Jordan Aoyama (PEP Summer 2009)


Sam Hommand (Summer 2013)
Sarah Strobel (Summer 2011)
Samara Haver (2011)
Lauren Gentile (Summer 2011 and 2010)
Caitlin Waring (high school intern (2010 & 2011)
Jackie Koo (High school intern (2009 & 2010)
Gabriel Poritz (2009)
Andre Guerreiro da Silva (2008-2009)
Jackie Kiernan (2006-2007)
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(File Modified Jan. 09 2014)