Eg2301 Feature in Hakai Magazine

The story of Eg2301 (chronically entangled North Atlantic right whale) is featured in Hakai Magazine this month.  Read on for a glimpse into the life and death of a North Atlantic right whale.  Many thanks to Jenny Holland for her great idea and thorough reporting on this piece.

header-whale-necropsy-1-1200x577Eg2301, a North Atlantic right whale seen here with her calf, was later caught in fishing gear. She died in 2005 due to her injuries and the persistent, energy-sapping drag of the line. Photo by New England Aquarium taken under NOAA permit #775-1600-2

New publication on right whales & fishing gear entanglement, as documented in baleen

My latest article, Characterizing the Duration and Severity of Fishing Gear Entanglement on a North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) Using Stable Isotopes, Steroid and Thyroid Hormones in Baleen, has just been published in Frontiers in Marine Science, part of the  Research Topic Integrating Emerging Technologies into Marine Megafauna Conservation Management. 

Take a deep breath

Blue Planet II premieres January 20 (TOMORROW!!!) in the U.S.  Ed Yong called it “the greatest nature series of all time.”  Will you be watching?  If this trailer doesn’t get your heart racing, check your pulse – you might be dead.

That music, right??!!  The original score is by Hans Zimmer and Radiohead, and the lead track (Ocean) Bloom is actually a re-imagination of Radiohead’s 2011 track Bloom – which was inspired by the original Blue Planet series.  See it all come together here.

Besides being a captivating and educating series, Blue Planet II may help bring about stronger regulations of plastic pollutants.  After airing in the U.K., environment secretary Michael Gove was “haunted” by images in the series and is working to introduce stronger regulations on single use plastic bottles.  May we all be inspired to do our part.

via kottke

Old Thom the Sea Wolf

Photo credit: Capeshores Charters

A fisherman spotted an orca whale off Chatham MA yesterday, and he has been identified as Old Thom. This whale has been seen several times by the New England Aquarium Right Whale Research team during summer surveys in the Bay of Fundy (2012, 2014, & 2015). Old Thom has been cataloged by  Atlantic Whales in Newfoundland. It’s amazing to think about all this whale has seen in his life as he cruises around the North Atlantic!

Old Thom – Photo credit: NEAq


Sonic Sea

Sonic Sea is a new documentary that highlights the ways in which industrialized ocean noise affects whales – including their communication, foraging, navigation, and stress. You can see the film on the Discovery Channel or at various screenings around the country.


“Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. Sonic Sea is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution.”

On July 7th (@ 7PM), there will be an Oceanview Foundation screening of Sonic Sea at the Block Island Library – hosted by [fantastic former MSC student] Mary Cerulli and the Nature Conservancy.  Check out this great write-up about the event (by Mary) in the Block Island Times:


Shoals Marine Lab 2016

Marine Mammal Biology at the Shoals Marine Lab was a fantastic experience this year!!  We had a wonderful group of students from Cornell, Brandeis, Skidmore, UNH, & URI.  Here are some highlights:

Sharks! Global Biodiversity, Biology, and Conservation

Researchers at Cornell University and University of Queensland are offering a FREE 4-week online course on shark biology & conservation, to coincide during Shark Week 2016. The faculty includes Dr. Willy Bemis (former director of the Shoals Marine Lab) and Dr. Ian Tibbetts (who I had the pleasure of studying with as an undergrad while abroad in Australia).  Class starts June 28th – it’s going to be a good one!  Register online.