"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

-A.A. Milne

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 has a BA and MA in Natural Science from Cambridge University, UK and a PhD in Zoology from Aberdeen University, UK. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist at James Cook University, Australia, the Norwegian Polar Institute in Norway, and Cornell University, USA before starting the passive acoustics research group here at the NEFSC in 2006.


Danielle Cholewiak

Danielle has a BSc in both Biology and Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan, and a PhD from Cornell University's Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Laboratory of Ornithology. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and is now a senior bioacoustician in the group working on towed array data collected from our vessel based stock assessment surveys as well as baleen whale acoustics and ocean noise research.


Genevieve Davis

Genevieve has a BS from the State University of New York at Binghamton and is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She was a NOAA Hollings scholar in our group working on North Atlantic right whale calling behavior across seasons, after which she then joined the acoustics team as a research analyst focusing on baleen whale acoustics and our educational outreach program, NOEPS.


Dana Gerlach

Dana has a dual BS in Oceanography and Geological Sciences from the University of Michigan, and a Science Masters from MIT in Geochemistry and Paleoceanography. She is currently working as database and project manager for the acoustics research program.


Annamaria Izzi

Annamaria has a BS in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Research from the University of Saint Andrews, Scotland. She has worked as a research analyst at Cornell's Bioacoustics Research Program and interned at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center researching beaked whales. She is currently working with the acoustics group as a research analyst focusing on our beaked whale, sperm whale, and North Atlantic cod projects.


Julianne Gurnee

Julianne recently earned a BS in Zoology from Oregon State University and was a NOAA Hollings scholar in 2013 working with the acoustics group to localize sperm whales in the Western North Atlantic. Following her graduation in 2014, she worked as a hatchery technician at Snettisham Hatchery in Alaska before joining the acoustics team where she currently works as a research analyst focusing on near real-time acoustic tracking of baleen whales and the North Atlantic right whale migratory corridor project.


Grace Simpkins

Grace has a BS in biology from Boston College and a MS in marine biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she worked on sea birds and stable isotopes. After graduating, she did marine mammal research in Alaska for the National Marine Mammal Lab as well as outreach science with the Pacific Science Center's, "Science on Wheels" program. She later taught biology courses at several Seattle-area community colleges. She is currently working on our NOAA Outreach and Education on Protected Species (NOEPS) program.


Jenni Stanley

Jenni has a BSc in Biological Sciences, specializing in Marine Science and a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Auckland's Institute of Marine Science (Leigh Marine Laboratory), and is now a Postdoctoral Scientist in the Passive Acoustic Research Group here at NEFSC and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS). Her research has largely focused on how natural and anthropogenic sources of underwater sound effects temperate and tropical marine organisms, and is currently focusing on soundscape ecology and sound production in a number of fishes and invertebrates in SBNMS.


Heather Heenehan

Heather has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Connecticut. She received both her Master of Environmental Management and PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University. Heather is now a postdoctoral scientist in the passive acoustics group and is currently working on a new Caribbean humpback whale project and the cod project.


Paul Caiger

Paul has a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, an MSc and a recently completed PhD both in Marine Science undertaken at the University of Auckland's Leigh Marine Laboratory. Previous research includes acoustic physiology of fishes, evolutionary ecology of fishes, and temperate reef ecology. Paul has joined the passive acoustics team and is working on acoustic ecology in Atlantic Cod.

Former Group Members:


Dr. Joy Stanistreet: (2017. "Ecology of beaked whales and sperm whales in the western North Atlantic Ocean: Insights from passive acoustic monitoring." Marine Science and Conservation, Duke University)

Dr. Heather Heenehan: (2016. "Soundscape Ecology of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays." Marine Science and Conservation, Duke University) currently a Postdoc with our passive acoustics group.

Dr. Trudi Webster: (2015. "Southern right whales: acoustic behavior and ambient noise." Marine Science and Zoology, University of Otago) currently a conservation science advisor at Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust.

Dr. Denise Risch: (2013. "Baleen whale acoustic ecology with focus on minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and reference to anthropogenic noise". Zoology, University of Kiel) Denise was a senior bioacoustician with our group from 2006-2013 and is a currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

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.

Past Postdocs and Research Assistants:

Christopher Tremblay (2015-2016)
Samara Haver (2011-2015)
Dr. Steven Brady (2013-2014)
Keith Hernandez (2011-2012)
Sarah Mussoline (2010-2012)
Joy Stanistreet (2009-2011)
Elizabeth Vu (2008-2009)
Jillian Vitacco (2010)

NOAA Hollings Scholarship Interns(http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/Hollings_info.html)

Bridget Mueller-Brennan (Hollings Scholar Summer 2017)
Megan Sullivan (Hollings Scholar Summer 2017) Sandra Dorning (Hollings Scholar Summer 2016)
Alyssa Scott (Hollings Scholar Summer 2016)
Katharine Shelledy (Hollings Scholar Summer 2016)
Daniel Woodrich (Hollings Scholar Summer 2015)
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 Interns (http://www.woodsholediversity.org/pep/)

Alisa Young (PEP Summer 2014)
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)


Sarah Weiss (Fall 2016)
Sabena Siddiqui (Spring 2015)
Julianne Cossavella (Graduate intern 2014)
Kelly Simonson (Summer 2014)
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 May. 03 2017)