I am broadly interested in the behavior of cetaceans, and how they use environmental and social information to make decisions. For my dissertation I will be using CATS tags to look at the fine-scale movement and acoustic behavior of humpback whales in their Hawaiian breeding grounds and Alaskan feeding grounds. I will work with the local community and use my research to better protect humpback whales.
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Gussieʻs interest in science started during the summers she spent backpacking in the Black Mountains of North Carolina. She got a B.A. in Biology from Amherst College in 2019, and while studying away at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, she solidified her interest in whale behavioral research. Gussie graduated with an MSc in Marine Mammal Science for the University of St. Andrews in 2020. She analyzed DTAG data from pairs of tagged whales for her master's thesis research on the acoustic communication behavior of male sperm whales. She is a Graduate Degree Fellow at the East-West Center, and is working to incorporate her research findings into conservation decisions across the Asia-Pacific region.