B.A. Linguistics, Florida Atlantic University
PhD Program, Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab, University of Southern Mississippi
Sarah graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University in 2013 with a B.A. in Linguistics. She pursued this field due to her fascination with how animals communicate. During her undergraduate years, she interned at the Bronx Zoo (Bronx, New York), the Newport Aquarium (Newport, Kentucky), and the Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, New York). She also assisted in the data collection for a doctoral research project (Dr. Aylin Akkaya, University of Istanbul) studying the effects of ship traffic on wild dolphin and porpoise behavior in the Bosphorus Strait (Istanbul, Turkey). In addition to her research, Sarah enjoys working as an educator on topics such as ecology and conservation with both children and adults, and is active in her community as a volunteer for organizations such as the Marine Conservation Club, which she co-founded at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2015.
Currently, Sarah is a doctoral student and member of the Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi where she focuses on the communication and behavior of both North American river otters and bottlenose dolphins. For her master’s thesis, Sarah is analyzing the mouthing behavior and associated vocalizations of the RIMS bottlenose dolphins (Roatan, Honduras) under the advisement of Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski.
She was recently awarded second place in her category at the Susan A. Siltanen Graduate Student Research Symposium for her project entitled “Vocal Repertoire of North American River Otters (Lontra canadensis) in One Captive Population.” Additionally, Sarah has received the National Geographic Young Explorers grant to continue funding her research on context specific calls of North American river otters in the wild.