Event Details

Dr. Ashlee Lillis in WHOI’s Biology department, is a marine ecologist with expertise in the larval invertebrates of seafloor organisms, and works on uncovering the importance of underwater sound to the structure of marine ecosystems. A Canadian scientist, Ashlee studied at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and at the Ocean Sciences Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, before completing her Ph.D. in North Carolina, and ultimately arriving in Woods Hole in 2015. The title of her talk is “Snapping shrimp, coral reef choruses, and why we should listen to the sea” She explains “Soundscapes, the mixture of sounds that form the ambient acoustic environment, influence marine organisms small and large, and are an important part of underwater ecosystems. Snapping shrimp, also called pistol shrimp, are a diverse family of reclusive sound-producing crustaceans whose “snaps” dominate shallow-water habitats worldwide, including oyster beds and coral reefs. Despite their conspicuous bio-acoustic contribution and outsized influence on marine ecosystems, as well as their interference with human acoustic endeavour in the sea, little is known about snapping shrimp sound production patterns and behaviours. Recent efforts at WHOI to monitor and study these noisy organisms have revealed new behaviours and environmental influences on snapping. The nature of these relationships, underlying causes, and impact on natural soundscapes under changing environmental conditions are just beginning to be explored”.

Dr. Viviane V. Menezes is a Physical Oceanographer interested in understanding the global ocean circulation and its impact on Earth climate. “I like going to sea to collect data and love computer programming. I have a BS in Oceanography and MS in Remote Sensing, both from Brazil. Before my PhD, I worked for 10 years for the offshore oil & gas industry studying ocean currents that impact oil rig operations and oil spills. I did my PhD in Marine Sciences at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia and joined WHOI in October 2015 as a postdoctoral investigator. At WHOI, I am working with Amy Bower and Tom Farrar, investigating the Red Sea circulation and turbulent air-sea interactions. The Red Sea is a very interesting place for a physical oceanographer because it looks like a miniature world ocean. I am also devoting some time to understanding recent changes (freshening) in Antarctic bottom waters observed in the abyssal Southern Indian Ocean”. The topic of her talk is “ Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate: An observational study”.

Jim Yoder, WHOI’s Dean of Education will introduce the speakers.

The Joint Program between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been in existence since 1968, linking these two topnotch academic institutions in a co-operative program in graduate studies in oceanography, granting a joint PhD. The students spend part of their time in Cambridge at MIT and part in Woods Hole. Typically, students spend the first two years of the program at MIT—though this depends on the student’s specialty and advisor. Most students spend summer semesters at WHOI. On both campuses, students have the resources of a world-class research institution at their fingertips.