Press Releases

May 13, 2005

Southampton College Senior Terri Aubele Investigates Why Whales Sing and Rats Listen
Henry David Thoreau Scholar Takes on Two Internships at the End of College Career

Amanda Olsen (

Southampton, NY – Senior Terri Aubele of West Bridgewait, Mass., spent two months last summer having the kind of adventure most college students only dream about: studying whale behavior and vocalizations off the coast of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.  

Through her connection with her faculty advisor, Southampton College professor Paul Forestell, Aubele became involved in a landmark study concerning the underwater vocal displays of male humpback whales during the breeding season. Her most important assignment was to collect the first field data for the project.

Not only was she learning about the whales herself, but part of her program included public education and activism. Aubele taught natural history classes to a diverse crowd of local fishermen, guides and schoolchildren, stressing the importance of whales to the Ecuadorian ecosystem.

Upon her return to the U.S., Aubele embarked on another critical study at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y. with Dr. John Neill, also a professor at the College.  Their research there focused on the auditory discrimination in rats that have been exposed to radiation in space.

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