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Lara Garcia

I am a PhD student in the Sound Behaviour and Communication group working at the Marine Biological Research Centre of the University of Southern Denmark.

My research focuses mainly on the development of the biosonar (echolocation and hearing), behaviour and on communication between mothers and calves. I am studying toothed whales, mainly harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and Indopacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

I have so far been investigating the echolocation development of newborn Indopacific bottlenose dolphins, in Monkey Mia (Western Australia) collaborating with Murdoch University (you can read about it here). I also studied the development of hearing, echolocation and behaviour of newborn harbour porpoises at the Fjord&Bælt center (Denmark) and at Dolfinarium Harderwijk (Netherlands) of adult animals. Lately I have also conducted a project for studying the mother-calf abundance and communication in Little Baelt (Baltic Sea, Denmark) (you can read about both projects here).

Further research is planned to investigate how harbour porpoises use their biosonar for orienting and avoiding obstacles, and on the development of communication by means of clicks (porpoises) or whistles (dolphins). Next summer the field work in Little Baelt will be continued with different experimental techniques.

This PhD research is funded by SDU and the Danish National Research Council: Large framework 2012-14 (P. Madsen, A. Surlykke, M. Wahlberg).

Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

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