Uncovering the Underwater Lives of Humpback Whales

Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series

Most of what we know about whale behavior originated from observations of their activity on the water’s surface. What they do beneath the waves has been more of a mystery—until recently. Marine biologist Dr. David Wiley, research coordinator at NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, has pioneered the use of advanced technology to discover the secret lives of these gentle giants.

Dr. Wiley’s research on humpback-whale behavior has led to the relocation of shipping lanes within the sanctuary and the world’s first real-time system for notifying ships of whales in their paths. He’s helped develop fishing gear that reduces the risk of whale entanglement, as well as innovative ways to rescue stranded whales and dolphins.

Dr. Wiley is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal, the NextGov Bold Award for scientific innovation and the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy. His research has appeared in numerous scientific journals—including Behavior, Animal Behavior and Biological Conservation—and has been featured on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

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