Marine Science

Marine Science

Senior Theses 2008

Daniel Widener (2008)  Comparison of three algorithms for automatic detection of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus whistles
Faculty Advisor: Shannon Gowans

Automatic detection algorithms are invaluable tools for dealing with the large quantities of data generated in passive acoustic monitoring studies. Multiple approaches to automatic detection are possible, but I focused on designing algorithms to detect bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) whistles based on frequency and slope characteristics. After examining an initial automatic detection algorithm, I wrote two more algorithms designed to improve detection of bottlenose dolphin whistles in low signal-to-noise ratio data. Using more comprehensive methods of searching in the second and third algorithms improved detection rates greatly from the first algorithm, as detection rates were 8%, 19%, and 40% in the first, second, and third algorithms respectively. Though detection rates increased significantly, false detections remained a problem, as false detection rates were always several times higher than actual detection rates. In particular, all three algorithms are easily confused by noise such as boat noise and fish chorus noise. Unless further modifications are able to reduce false detection rates in the third algorithm, it is unlikely that this approach will be feasible for detection of T. truncatus whistles in low signal-to-noise ratio data.

Student Research

Given the close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and subtropical climate, the Tampa Bay region has a high concentration of marine research and academic institutions. Because of many local connections in the Tampa Bay area, a large number of opportunities are available to our students through government and private marine agencies and laboratories, public aquaria, marine conservation institutions, environmental consulting firms, and commercial aquaculture firms.

$1Mil Renovation Project

GMSL patio

The National Science Foundation awarded Eckerd College $870,720 to renovate research spaces within the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory during the summer of 2011. Eckerd contributions to the project bring the total renovation budget to over $1 million. Learn more.