[MARMAM] Bahamas Wild Dolphin Research Experience

Kelly Melillo Sweeting kmelillo at dolphincommunicationproject.org
Fri Feb 2 11:02:30 PST 2018

Dolphin Communication Project (DCP) - Wild Dolphin Research Experience

Session 1: Check-in Saturday 26 May, Check-out Thursday 31 May 2018
Session 2: Check-in Sunday 26 August, Check-out Friday 31 August 2018

Bimini, The Bahamas 

The Dolphin Communication Project (DCP, www.dolphincommunicationproject.org) is currently seeking to fill remaining spaces on our 5-day wild dolphin research experiences. 

DCP looks at how dolphins communicate and attempts to shed more light on the meaning of their interactions. With research ongoing since 1991, our questions focus primarily on communication and behavior among dolphins. Participants will spend their time at our Bimini, The Bahamas, research site, where we study wild Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins. An abbreviated publication list is available at the end of this post. 

We still have several spaces available for both of our 2018 Bimini, The Bahamas research sessions. These programs will have a more casual atmosphere than field courses or internships, however participants will have many opportunities to not only learn about DCP's research, but actually assist with data collection and preliminary analysis (mainly data entry and photo-ID).  

Where: Bimini, The Bahamas (accessible from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach and Melbourne, FL)
Session 1: Saturday 26 May - Thursday 31 May 2018
Session 2: Sunday 26 August -  Friday 31 August 2018
Price per session: $1875 per person (payable online; $50 discount for payment by US check)
Included: 5 nights' hotel accommodation (dbl occ), 5 dolphin trips (4-5 hours each, weather dependent), meals (prepared by private cook, served "family style"), boat snacks, drinking water, snorkel gear (if needed), DCP talks, VAT
Not included: Airfare, gratuity ($100 recommended)
Deposits ($350) are required to reserve your space. 

Who can apply: Anyone with an interest in dolphin behavior and research. Previous experience snorkeling is encouraged, but not required. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. US citizens are required to travel to The Bahamas with a valid passport. Other nationals should check requirements.

For more information, email DCP Bimini Research Manager, Kel Sweeting at kelly at dcpmail.org. Learn more about DCP's research on wild Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins off Bimini, The Bahamas at www.dolphincommunicationproject.org

Selected Refereed Publications: 
(for a full list of publications by DCP researchers, please visit: 

Dudzinski, K.M., Clark, C.W., Würsig, B. 1995. A mobile video/acoustic system for simultaneously recording dolphin behavior and vocalizations underwater. Aquatic Mammals 21(3): 187-193. 

Dudzinski, K.M. 1998. Contact behavior and signal exchange among Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis). Aquatic Mammals 24(3): 129-142. 

Dudzinski, K.M., M. Sakai, M., Masaki, K., Kogi, K., Hishii, T., Kurimoto, M. 2003. Behavioral observations of adult and sub-adult dolphins towards two dead bottlenose dolphins (one female and one male). Aquatic Mammals 29(1): 108-116. 

Gregg, J.D., Dudzinski, K.M., Smith, H.V. 2007. Do dolphins eavesdrop on the echolocation signals of conspecifics? International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 20: 65-88 

Dudzinski, K.M., Thomas, J. Gregg, J.D. 2008. Communication. In (W.F. Perrin, B. Würsig, H.C.M. Thewissen, eds) Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, second edition. Academic Press, Inc. 

Melillo, K.E., Dudzinski, K.M., Cornick, L.A. 2009. Interactions between Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins off Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003-2007. Aquatic Mammals, 35:281-291 

Dudzinski, K.M., Gregg, J.D., Paulos, R.D., Kuczaj, S.A. 2010. A comparison of pectoral fin contact behaviour for three distinct dolphin populations. Behavioural Processes, 84: 559-567. 

Greene, W., Melillo-Sweeting, K., Dudzinski, K. 2011. Comparing object play in captive and wild dolphins. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 24(3):292-306. 

Dudzinski, KM, Gregg, JD, Melillo-Sweeting, K, Levengood, A, Seay, B., Kuczaj II, SA. 2012. Tactile contact exchanges between dolphins: self-rubbing versus inter-individual contact in three species from three geographies. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 25:21-43. 

Dudzinski, KM, Danaher-Garcia, N, Gregg, JD. 2013. Pectoral fin contact between dolphin dyads at Zoo Duisburg, with comparison to other dolphin study populations. Aquatic Mammals. 39(4): 335-343. 

Melillo-Sweeting, K, Turnbull, S and Guttridge, T. 2014. Evidence of shark attacks on Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off Bimini, The Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12082 

Melillo-Sweeting, K., Yeater, D., Dudzinski, KM. 2015. Dolphin sightings near the coast of Bimini, The Bahamas, 2003 – 2013. Aquatic Mammals 41.3: 245-251. DOI: 10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.245. 

Kaplan, J. D., Melillo-Sweeting, K., Reiss, D. 2017. Biphonal calls in Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis): bitonal and burst-pulse whistles, Bioacoustics, DOI: 10.1080/09524622.2017.1300105

Kelly Melillo Sweeting
Research Associate & Bimini Research Manager
Dolphin Communication Project

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