Research projects – University of Copenhagen

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Acoustic behaviour of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in Disko Bay, Western Greenland

Outi Tervo, PhD project, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Scientific leader, Arctic Station, e-mail: ote@science.ku.dk 

Internal supervisor: Dr. Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen, University of Copenhagen.
External supervisor: Dr. Susan E. Parks, PennState University, PA, USA. http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/s/e/sep20/

Grønlandshval i Disko Bugten I am interested in the acoustic behaviour of bowhead whales inhabiting the area of Disko Bay in Western Greenland. The aim of my PhD project is to collect passive acoustic recordings of bowhead whale acoustic behaviour, coupled with behavioural observations and biopsy to better determine the function of these sounds.

Photo: J. Jakobsen

The data will be used to

  1. describe the bowhead whale repertoire and seasonal trends in acoustic behaviour;

     
  2. describe the structure of the song and determine the sex of the singing individuals, and

  3. determine the level of man-made and natural noise in Disko Bay and describe the impact of noise on bowhead whale acoustic behaviour.

Disko Bay is one of the best places in the world to observe and study bowhead whales. Every year the whales arrive in Disko Bay in early February and stay until late May providing and unique opportunity for field research. 

VOCALISATION OF BOWHEAD WHALES (Balaena mysticetus) IN DISKO BAY, WESTERN GREENLAND, IN RELATION TO OCEANOGRAPHY AND PLANKTON DISTRIBUTION
M. Sc. Thesis by Outi Tervo, University of Southern Denmark, 2006.