Justin Gregg

Justin Gregg

Justin Gregg is a Senior Research Associate with the Dolphin Communication Project. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/justindgregg or visit his website at http://www.justingregg.com



Seabeagle (ID#106) is a young, female Atlantic spotted dolphin. She was first observed off the coast of Bimini, The Bahamas in 2013. She has been seen every year since, including quite a bit in 2016! She was recognizable even before she had many spots as she an injury to the center of her fluke (tail). Unfortunately, she suffered an additional fluke injury and is now missing the majority of the left side of her tail. This doesn't slow her down though, and she is often seen with other juveniles, including Inka (#93) and Paul (#99).

Adoption kits cost $30 for the electronic version, and $35 for the hardcopy version. See the "What's in your Adoption Kit?" below to learn more about what you'll receive in each version of the dolphin adoption kit. Adoptions are valid for a full year.

To adopt Seabeagle, enter the name you would like to appear on your personalized adoption certificate below and click on 'add to cart' to get started. Important: We only ship hardcopy versions of the kit to the USA. Economy shipping (free) typically takes 2-3 weeks. Expedited orders are processed within 1-2 days and shipped via USPS Priority Mail. If you are ordering from outside the USA, please order an electronic version of the adoption kit. Our online payment system accepts all major credit cards. Please email DCP at info {at} dcpmail {dot} org if you would like to pay by check or money order.

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Friend Seabeagle on Facebook (he has his very own page) and get the latest sighting updates. DCP researchers will keep you up to date on Seabeagle's antics, and you can interact with other Seabeagle fans and adoptive parents.

J. Daisy Kaplan, Ph.D.
24 July 2017

J. Daisy Kaplan, Ph.D.

Daisy Kaplan has been studying the behavior of dolphins and whales for over a decade. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where she studied juvenile social interactions among wild spotted dolphins in White Sand Ridge, Bahamas, while leading ecotourist groups for Oceanic Society. She then served as a researcher and naturalist for The Whale Center of New England, studying the behavior of humpback whales. Her PhD work looked at the acoustic characteristics and contextual use of whistles in sympatric species of wild bottlenose and spotted dolphins in Bimini, The Bahamas. Her current area of study is in communication and the use of biphonation in dolphins. She is a Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

During her Master's research, Daisy collaborated with Kathleen; Daisy's relationship with DCP strengthened as she began utilizing Bimini for her Ph.D. work. As our collaborations grew, it became more and more apparent that we are better together! We look forward to more joint publications and education programs as well as a general cooperative interaction that means more data collection and more project results!

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Marie Trone, Ph.D.
24 July 2017

Marie Trone, Ph.D.

Marie Trone, PhD, is a Professor of Biology at Valencia College,  Kissimmee, Florida and an Adjunct Professor, Brain and Behavior  Science at University of Southern Mississippi.

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Sarah N. Walkley

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.

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Shane Kanatous, Ph.D.



Assistant Professor
Office: Anatomy/Zoology Building E308
Phone: 970-491-0782
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


I am a Brooklyn, New York native transformed into the rare hybrid of  a Texas Aggie who worked for the University of Texas System and is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University.


I have often been asked how a kid from New York City became interested in marine biology and physiology. As a child, I remember watching the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and being fascinated by the ocean and its marine life. From there, my love of the marine world continued to grow as I read all of Cousteau’s books and anything else I could about the ocean. Since my days in grammar school, I wanted to be an Oceanographer/Marine Biologist. During my senior year at Xaverian High School, I had the opportunity to meet and discuss a career in marine biology with the Director of the New York Aquarium, Dr. George Ruggieri. Dr. Ruggieri encouraged me to pursue a degree in Marine Science at Southampton College of Long Island University.


In addition to an excellent academic program, Southampton offered an extensive internship and co-operative educational program, which played an essential role in sculpting my future career. As a sophomore, I undertook my first great adventure, when I spent a semester at sea crewing on a 110 ft schooner from Glouchester, Massachusetts north to Appledore, Maine and then down the Atlantic coast, ending in the Dominican Republic. While on seamester, my crewmates and I were required to take a full semester’s worth of courses, which included Marine ecology, Ichthyology, Literature and of course sailing. What made the trip so amazing, besides the dolphins, whales, and sharks we were seeing on a daily basis, was the fact that everything we were learning about in the classroom was only a field trip away. My semester at sea has provided memories and experiences that I still call upon some fifteen years later. During my college career, I became fascinated with how an animal’s body works while swimming underwater, or gliding through waves. What I came to learn was that I was fascinated with the physiology of animals. My interest in physiology was further solidified during my senior year when I became an intern for Dr. Gerry Kooyman in the Physiological Research Lab at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. During that year, we studied the diving physiology and metabolism of California sea lions, harbor seals, thick-billed murres, and king and emperor penguins. At Scripps, I developed the basic ideas that would later develop into my Ph.D. topic and set the groundwork for our current project in Antarctica.


After my time at Scripps, I went on to receive my PhD. in exercise and skeletal muscle physiology from TexasA&MUniversity under the guidance of Dr. Randall W. Davis. During my Ph.D., I had the opportunity to participate in a host of different studies. In specific projects, I have studied diving behavior and physiology, fuel homeostasis, reproductive behavior and energetics, foraging behavior and energetics, thermoregulation, and swimming energetics in a variety of marine and terrestrial mammals. My research has not only been limited to physiology, but has spanned a number of biological and oceanographic disciplines investigating different ecological questions. In additional projects, I have studied reproductive and courting behavior, migratory patterns, deep-sea benthic environments and the distribution marine mammals in relation to oceanographic characteristics in the Gulf of Mexico. This diverse research experience enables me to provide a broad perspective to my current research dealing with physiological and ecological topics.


Upon completion of my dissertation, I returned to the University of California at San Diego as a National Institute of Health Minority Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Physiology section of the School of Medicine working with Dr. Peter Wagner and Dr. Odile Mathieu-Costello. My research dealt with biochemical and morphological adaptations of skeletal muscles to hypoxia in breath-hold diving and high altitude adapted mammals and birds. After San Diego, I joined the lab of Dr. R. Sanders Williams at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. While in Dallas I started to learn the molecular techniques that are now a core area of my current research. After our last expedition to the ice, I moved from Dallas to Fort Collins Colorado; where I joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at Colorado State University as an Assistant Professor.


While my basic ideas have matured beyond being the next Jacque Cousteau, I guess the answer to the question of how a kid from New York City becomes a marine biologist is, that he followed his heart and dared to dream big. The best advice I can give is to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, and never let anyone or anything discourage you from achieving those dreams. Seek the advice and guidance of your parents, teachers and mentors, and remember the road may not always be smooth, but the journey will be an amazing one.


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Our Donors

The Dolphin Communication Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on support from the public to conduct our scientific research and offer education opportunities to people of all ages. Your generosity is the lifeblood of our organization, and we could not operate without the donations we receive. Every scientific article we've published and every student mentorship opportunity we've provided has been made possible by financial support from people just like you. If you'd like to donate to DCP, please visit our donation page.

We would like to thank the following individuals and organizations who have so generously supported DCP:

Corporate Sponsors (Past & Present)

Nate Riley, Author Bahamas Bucket List for Divers, Bimini Edition

Wildlife Acoustics




Individual Donors

Peter Hyde

Kathleen Dudzinski

John Anderson

Sybille and Tom Saunders

Sharon McCormick

Kelly Melillo Sweeting

Bill Sperling

Susan Duval

DCP also thanks all the generous donors who have asked to stay anonymous. Thank you all!




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Dawn Melzer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Sacred Heart University, Connecticut
Dr. Melzer received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.  Her previous research projects focused on cognitive development in young children, specifically mental state understanding and executive function skills. Currently Dr. Melzer is collaborating with DCP and other researchers on a comparative study investigating the use of creativity assessments in marine mammals and young children.   

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Allison B. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Research scientist, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut

Allison B. Kaufman is research scientist with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, where she also teaches as a adjunct  professor in the departments of Marine Biology and Psychology.  Allison holds a doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside.  She has published on language and cognition in several species of non-human animals, in addition to measurement techniques for observing animal behavior.  Currently, her main interest is in the application of research on human constructs, such as creativity and intelligence, to animals.  She is the co-editor of two books, Animal Creativity and Innovation, and Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science.

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Twenty Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins – my new book!
24 July 2017

Twenty Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins – my new book!

Dear friends,

I am super psyched to announce the publication of my latest book, Twenty Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins! You can purchase a copy of the book for just $9.99 ($3.99 on Kindle) on Amazon.com at this link, or on bol.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, and kobo.

It's full of fun dolphin science trivia, and is aimed at kids/grown-ups aged 12 and over. If you like the fun kind of dolphin science info featured on DCP's podcast, The Dolphin Pod, you will surely love this book too!

Happy reading!


Here's the official press release:

New book of dolphin science trivia for young adults

Stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know about dolphins

Antigonish, Nova Scotia, November 30, 2015 – Did you know that dolphins don’t drink water, don’t chew their food, and don’t sleep? Despite being one of the world’s best loved and most studied animals, dolphins continue to surprise us with their impressive skills, strange behavior, and bizarre abilities. Dolphin researcher Justin Gregg highlights the most eyebrow-raising findings from the world of dolphin science in his latest book: Twenty-Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins.

“This book is a lovingly curated collection of weird, unexpected, and remarkable bits of dolphin trivia,” said Gregg, “the kind of factoids I regularly break out at parties to get people talking about the zany world of dolphin science.” Showcasing some of the less well-known dolphin traits like their ability to call each other by name, sense magnetic fields, or their immunity to drowning, this book aims to impress even the most knowledgeable dolphin aficionado or trivia buff. Gregg has travelled the world studying dolphins in the wild, and supplements the scientific information in the book with his own (often humorous) take on dolphin behavior. Aimed at an audience ages 12 and over, 22 Fantastical Facts about Dolphins translates the latest scientific findings into fun and witty prose that will delight dolphin lovers everywhere.

Outside the Lines Press is a family run independent publisher based in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. “Throughout the publication of this book, I have relied on local editors and designers,” said Gregg. “Nova Scotia is chalk full of amazing artists and writers, and I am proud to show that a small indie press based in a tiny rural town can create world-class books using only local talent.”

22 Fantastical Facts about Dolphins retails for $9.99 US and can be purchased from Amazon, or other online retailers. For more information visit www.outsidethelinespress.com. For questions for Justin, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Justin on Twitter @justindgregg and Outside the Lines Press @OTLPress


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Dolphins sometimes carry weapons
24 July 2017

Dolphins sometimes carry weapons

*The following blog post is an excerpt from the book Twenty-Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins*

Psychologists have learned that holding an otherwise innocent object in your hand – like an umbrella – makes onlookers perceive you as more dangerous than if you were empty-handed. This same, subconscious fear of weapon-like objects is lodged in the minds of many of our primate cousins. Our closest relatives – chimpanzees – appeal to this weapon-fear bias by waving tree branches and logs in the air when trying to make themselves look larger and more intimidating. And by golly it works. As anyone who has spent time in the African jungles can attest to, a giant male chimpanzee screaming and running at you with a tree-branch in his hands is full-on terrifying. This is one of the reasons I prefer to study dolphins. They don’t have hands, so the chances they will club me or my fellow researchers to death in the open ocean are small.

Or so I thought.

It now appears that dolphins are known to wield weapons too. The Amazon river dolphin – also called the boto – has been observed carrying tree branches in its mouth. Since these river-bound dolphins live quite close to vegetation, it’s easy enough for them to get their hands mouths on weapon-like objects. They have been observed jutting their heads out of the water and waving sticks or branches around – a lot like chimpanzees.

Why do botos do this? Nobody has witnessed them actually assaulting other botos with their makeshift weapons, so it’s probably not meant as a tool to punish rivals. Then again, chimpanzees usually don’t hit each other with sticks – they just brandish them as a means of looking tougher. This is probably what is happening with the botos as well. It’s almost always the males who engage in this stick-thrashing behavior, and almost always when they’re around other males. Most of the time, these stick-carrying bouts end in some sort of aggressive encounter between the males. Tail slaps, biting, ramming – all kinds of unfriendly dolphin stuff.

Unsurprisingly, stick-wielding is often witnessed at times of the year when the females are most fertile. So it seems likely that males are trying to impress the ladies or otherwise scare their rivals by carrying weapon-like objects in their mouths. It might well be that the male dolphin who carries the biggest stick also has the best luck when it comes to mating.

Carrying sticks or other objects is an awkward thing for a dolphin to be doing. It will slow them down as they swim, and make it impossible to eat. Like much of dolphin behavior, it’s still a mystery as to why they do this. But I can guarantee you that a giant male Amazon river dolphin charging at me with a stick in its mouth is enough to keep me from wanting to swim in the Amazon. Well, that and the piranha.

 Want to read more zany dolphin science trivia?  Order a copy of the book Twenty-Two Fantastical Facts about Dolphins



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Dolphin Communication Project
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Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985

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