I'm interested in how fish perceive both sound pressure and particle motion using their various sensory structures (inner ear, lateral line, and swim bladder) in addition to examining novel ways to characterize anthropogenic sound in a manner which is relevant for both biologists and policy makers.
In underwater environments, animals tend to use acoustic information in ways analogous to terrestrial animals. Unlike terrestrial animals (or marine mammals), fishes primarily rely on particle motion (as opposed to sound pressure) to sense their acoustic environment. While sound pressure and particle motion are largely correlated in environments free from obstruction, in complex environments such as shallow water or rocky bottoms this is often not the case. I'm interested in how fish perceive both sound pressure and particle motion using their various sensory structures (inner ear, lateral line, and swim bladder) in addition to examining novel ways to characterize anthropogenic sound in a manner which is relevant for both biologists and policy makers.
My work is part of the larger PCAD4Cod project which aims to assess population level effects of seismic surveys on Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua). I work alongside two other PhD candidates, Jeroen Hubert (Leiden University) and Inge van der Knaap (Gent University), where we conduct complimentary experiments varying in scale from small indoor basins, outdoor net pens, to free-ranging outdoor experiments. Within this context, I am focused on small scale indoor experiments, acoustic analysis, and video tracking/tagging analysis with the aim of furthering our understainding of how fish perceive sound.
After receiving my Bachelor's degree of Ecology from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), I spent a number of years working as an avian research technician on various projects across North America. After this period, I came to the Netherlands and continued my studies at the University of Amsterdam where I graduated with a Masters in Ecology and Evolution. Shortly after, I started my PhD work here in Leiden, continuing in the topic of how fish perceive sound which I had previously worked on during my Masters programme.
Aside from my research, I have an interest in informatics and ornithology. In particular, I'm interested in collaboratively developing free, open source tools for biologists in R and C++.
There are several opportunities for research projects related to my research. You can contact me directly or visit my personal site to see an up-to-date list of interships I am involved with for which we are currently seeking students.
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