PhD Candidate, Georgetown University
I am primarily interested in the ontogeny of behavior and society exhibited by highly cognitive animals such as primates and cetaceans. As a Ph.D. student in Janet Mann's lab, I will be exploring the development of behavior and social relationships at different life stages of bottlenose dolphins. In addition, I hope to develop a new blow sampling technique to assess our population's reproductive status indicated by hormone levels.
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology/Marine Zoology from the University of Wales, Bangor. I completed an honour's thesis on the "Physical and biological impacts of oil pollution on coral" with Dr. Nia Whiteley. From there I went to work at the Zoology department in Warsaw, Poland, where I worked on various projects and taught English. It was not until I volunteered for Operation Wallacea on the project Reef Check and Marine Mammals that I began working in cetacean research with Sarah Curan. I went on to complete a master's degree in Marine Mammal Science at the University of Wales, Bangor in 2004, with my thesis entitled "Breaching of humpback whales whilst on migration on the east coast of Australia". I have conducted fieldwork on several different projects, including the Stradbroke Island Humpback Whale Project, Byron Bay Humpback Whale Project and last but not least, the Shark Bay Bottlenose Dolphin Project. I was a volunteer in Shark Bay for Richard Connor in 2005, and started working in January 2006 as a research associate/database manager for the Dolphins of Monkey Mia Research Foundation.