Jeff began trying to understand what it meant to be a whale back in 1977, following pods of killer whales around Northern Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. At this time he was studying for his undergraduate degree in Oceanography at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, and continued his killer whale research as a Master’s thesis in biology, completed in 1990. Hydrophones were always a part of the inquiry, and remained a core research interest. His work as a naturalist from Southeast Alaska to the Galapagos gave him more opportunities to use hydrophones to study other species. In 1987 Jeff got involved with a humpback whale survey at Isla Socorro in the Archipielago Revillagigedo, the most remote islands in the Mexican Pacific. This evolved into a long term multi-faceted collaborative exploration on their bio-acoustics, population dynamics, and genetics that spanned almost every winter between 1987 and 2006. During his summers in Northern California Jeff worked on coastal seabird surveys, studying the distribution and population levels of the endangered marbled murrelet, and joined whale surveys along the Aleutian Islands and Russian east coast.
Jeff became the first employee of Bio-Waves in the summer of 2006, participating in a survey in the Chukchi Sea studying the abundance and distribution of marine mammals. Since then, Jeff has been involved in many Bio-Waves projects, both in field work and developing new technologies and tools for use in the field.