Research

PIC_0150My research includes the study of acoustic habitats, acoustic communication, and human impacts on communication systems. One issue facing both marine and terrestrial animals alike is the presence of anthropogenic noise in natural habitats. Extra noise can interfere with mating systems, navigation, predator defense, and territory defense. Although there is generally an increasing awareness about human impacts on our planet, very few people consider the impacts of noise. This is one issue that I am passionate about, and hope to work on, in my future work. To learn more, please watch my TEDx talk here.

 

 

 Miami 169

In 2015, I completed my PhD at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, in the laboratory of Dr. Claire B. Paris. The ocean is an inherently noisy place due to sounds produced by animals (e.g. mating calls, territory defense, etc.), as well as sounds of the environment (e.g. wind, waves, rain). Areas with high biological diversity, such as coral reefs, are particularly noisy areas. The main goal of my PhD research was to investigate whether fish larvae use coral reef soundscapes to orient towards reefs at the end of their pelagic phase. There is growing evidence that various types of fish larvae are sensitive to reef sounds, and it is possible that the sound of the reef can serve as a long-distance orientation cue. The more we know about larval settlement, the better we can protect threatened coral reefs. My PhD included spatial and temporal analysis of reef soundscapes from the Florida Keys, as well as behavioral playback experiments with larval fish and biophysical modeling.

 

Erica_lobsters

 

Please see my publications page for a complete list of my scientific research.