Research Projects

Bio-Waves has conducted and participated in numerous research projects. Some of these projects we have designed and implemented ourselves, whereas in others, we have provided staff, equipment, training,expertise or some other contribution to a project run by our clients. Most of our work is field research but we have also conducted acoustic surveys, data-analysis, and technology R&D projects. Please click on the project title below for more details on some of our previous and current research.

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Pacific Region International Survey of Marine Megafauna

In the summer of 2018, Bio-Waves Inc completed the first systematic line transect survey of marine mammals in outer coastal waters off the west coast of Canada. Bio-Waves was responsible for all passive acoustic monitoring during the survey which was conducted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Continue >>>



Development of a Tetrahedral “X-Array” Prototype for Marine Mammal Localization

Bio-Waves, Inc., along with our partners UCSD/Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Marine Physical Laboratory, are designing and testing a prototype tetrahedral array for towed array surveys of deep-diving marine mammals. Continue >>>


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Visual and Acoustic Cetacean Survey of Remote Pacific Islands

Bio-Waves, Inc. employee Cory Ann Hom-Weaver was contracted by Conservation International to provide acoustic support on the first systematic survey of marine mammals in and around French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Phoenix Protected Islands, Tokelau, and Samoa. Continue >>>



Development of a Tool for Acoustic Identification of Killer Whale Communities in the Pacific Ocean

Bio-Waves, Inc. has created a random-forest classifier to identify killer whale vocalizations from the northeastern Pacific Ocean to the community level. Continue >>>


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Beaked Whale Density Estimate

Bio-Waves, Inc. used acoustic data collected during the Gulf of Alaska Line Transect Survey (GOALS II) marine mammal survey to estimate densities of Cuvier’s beaked whales in the Gulf of Alaska. Continue >>>


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Whistle/Click Classifiers

Bio-Waves, Inc. is working to create fully automated classifiers for odontocete species that use information from whistles, clicks and the context of acoustic encounters, with the goal of integrating these classifiers with PAMGuard and Ishmael software packages. Continue >>>


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Sperm Whale Density Estimate

Bio-Waves, Inc. used acoustic data collected during a research cruise conducted in the Northern Mariana Islands during the winter and spring of 2007 to determine an acoustic based density and abundance estimate for sperm whales in that region. Continue >>>


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Environmental Effects on Acoustic Identification

Bio-Waves, Inc. is using field recordings of free-ranging dolphins off Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii and San Diego, as well as from captive Navy trained dolphins in San Diego, to evaluate the effects of recording depth, animal behavior and sound propagation on delphinid whistles and clicks. Continue >>>


Mariana Islands Marine Resource Survey (MIMRS)

Bio-Waves, Inc. traveled to the Western Pacific Ocean to participate in the collection of data for the U.S. Military's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding the expansion of the Mariana Islands Testing and Training (MITT) site. Continue >>>



Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS)

Bio-Waves, Inc. worked with researchers from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service's Southeast Fisheries Science Center to provide acoustic monitoring during a combined visual and acoustic line transect marine mammal abundance survey off the southeast coast of the United States. Continue >>>


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Gulf of Alaska Line Transect Survey (GOALS II)

Bio-Waves, Inc. was involved with a survey to assess the abundance, density and distribution of marine mammals in the U.S. Navy’s Gulf of Alaska Temporary Maritime Activities Area (TMAA), providing 24 hour passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to complement visual survey efforts. Continue >>>


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Delphinid vocalization behaviors in relation to the presence of sonar (Jacksonville, FL and Onslow Bay, NC)

Using data collected by Marine Autonomous Recording Units (MARUs) in the fall and winter of 2009-2010 off the coast of Jacksonville, FL and Onslow Bay, NC, Bio-Waves, Inc. is collaborating with researchers at St. Andrews University to develop statistical methods for determining the effect of sonar on delphinid vocalizations Continue >>>



Pacific Orcinus Distribution Survey (PODS)

Since 2005, Bio-Waves, Inc. has been involved with developing and operating a passive acoustic monitoring system for an ongoing survey of Southern Resident killer whales, conducted yearly in the outer coastal waters of the Northwest Pacific United States. Continue >>>



Gulf of Mexico Sperm Whale Cruise

Bio-Waves, Inc. provided acoustic detection and localization capabilities during a NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center sponsored study in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. The goal of this study was to deploy satellite tags on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to track their movements in and out of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue >>>


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Palau Cetacean Survey

Bio-Waves, Inc. assisted in the design and implementation of passive acoustic operations for the Palau Cetacean Survey. The goal of this survey was to provide the Republic of Palau with information about the marine mammal populations in their waters so they may further conservation efforts of their living marine resources. Continue >>>


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Aerial-based Acoustic and Visual Monitoring of Marine Mammals off Southern California

Bio-Waves Inc. partnered with Smultea Environmental Sciences (SES) to design and implement an integrated visual and passive study of marine mammals off the Southern California bight during the winter/spring of 2012. This pilot project was part of a navy sponsored effort to collect baseline information on marine mammal behaviors in order to better understand the effects of naval activities. Continue >>>


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Vessel Based Marine Mammal Survey Off Kaua'i

Bio-Waves, Inc. participated in a marine mammal monitoring project to provide important biological data in the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility prior to a Navy training event.  Continue >>>


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Palmyra Island Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey (PICEAS)

Bio-Waves, Inc. provided field bioacousticians and other technical services for NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center to assist them in conducting line-transect surveys of marine mammals around Palmyra Atoll and the transit between Oahu and Palmyra Atoll. The goal of this study was to assess the abundance, distribution, and habitat of cetaceans in these areas. Continue >>>


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NOAA R/V PISCES Mid and Deep Water Trawl/Dolphin Mitigation Project

Bio-Waves, Inc. was responsible for passive acoustic monitoring of delphinids during mid- and deep-water net trawls on the NOAA Research Vessel Pisces in 2011 in the Gulf of Mexico. This project was aimed at monitoring the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on marine life in the area.  Continue >>>


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The Acoustic Ecology and Behaviors of Minke Whales in the North Pacific Islands

Bio-Waves, Inc. participated in an extended research project focusing on the acoustic ecology and behavior of minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the tropical and sub-tropical North Pacific, with the goal of developing methods and tools to better survey and monitor their acoustic behaviors. Continue >>>



Mariana Islands Sea Turtle and Cetacean Survey

Bio-Waves, Inc. was contracted by the U.S. Navy to provide passive acoustic monitoring during a large-scale line-transect survey of the deep oceanic waters around the Mariana Islands. Continue >>>


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Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals in the Chukchi Sea

Bio-Waves, Inc. conducted passive acoustic surveys of marine mammals in the Chukchi Sea as part of the Joint Monitoring Program, the result of an agreement between a consortium of oil production and exploration companies, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to monitor the effects of these activities on marine mammals. Continue >>>