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Kate Stafford

Principal Oceanographer

Affiliate Associate Professor, Oceanography

Email

stafford@apl.washington.edu

Phone

206-685-8617

Department Affiliation

Acoustics

Education

B.A. French Literature, Minor: Biology, University of California - Santa Cruz, 1989

M.S. Wildlife Biology, Oregon State University, 1995

Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2001

Publications

2000-present and while at APL-UW

Antarctic blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) recorded at the Equator in the Atlantic Ocean

Samaran, F., A. Berne, E.C. Leroy, S. Moreira, K.M. Stafford, M. Maia, and J.-Y. Royer, "Antarctic blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) recorded at the Equator in the Atlantic Ocean," Mar. Mammal Sci., 35, 641-648, doi:10.1111/mms.12559, 2019.

1 Apr 2019

Increasing detections of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Pacific Arctic

Stafford, K.M., "Increasing detections of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Pacific Arctic," Mar. Mammal Sci., 35, 696-706, doi:10.1111/mms.12551, 2019.

1 Apr 2019

A multi-year study of narwhal occurrence in the western Fram Strait — detected via passive acoustic monitoring

Ahonen, H., K.M. Stafford, C. Lydersen, L. de Steur, and K.M. Kovacs, "A multi-year study of narwhal occurrence in the western Fram Strait — detected via passive acoustic monitoring," Polar Res., 38, 3468, doi:10.33265/polar.v38.3468, 2019.

More Info

6 Mar 2019

Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has proven to be an efficient method for studying vocally active marine mammals in areas that are difficult to access on a year-round basis. In this study, a PAM recorder was deployed on an oceanographic mooring in western Fram Strait (78°50'N, 5°W) to record the acoustic presence of narwhals (Monodon monoceros) over a 3-yr period. Acoustic data were recorded for 14–17 min at the start of each hour from 25 September 2010 to 26 August 2011, from 2 September 2012 to 11 April 2013 and from 8 September 2013 to 27 April 2014. Pulsed and tonal signals, as well as echolocation clicks, were detected throughout the recording periods, demonstrating that this species is present in this region throughout the year. Generalized linear mixed-effect models showed a negative correlation between the acoustic presence of narwhals and very dense sea-ice cover (≥90%). Surprisingly, a positive correlation was found between the acoustic presence of narwhals and the presence of warm Atlantic Water in the area. Available data suggest that there might be a unique stock of narwhals in the Eurasian sector of the Atlantic Arctic that do not exhibit the "traditional" narwhal pattern of seasonal migration between coastal summering areas and offshore wintering grounds, but rather remain resident year-round in deep, offshore waters.

More Publications

In The News

To get a count on bowhead whales, North Slope scientists head out onto the sea ice

Alaska Public Media, Ravenna Koenig

This spring, the North Slope Borough is conducting a census of the western Arctic bowhead whale population. Kate Stafford drops hydrophones into the ocean to listen for whales that cannot be seen in the distance.

24 May 2019

Meet the bowhead whale, the jazz singer of the deep

Science Friday

Kate Stafford joins host John Dankowsky on the radio program to talk about the diverse songbook of bowhead whales. Over a three-year period, Stafford recorded bowhead whales in the Fram Strait in the Arctic singing 184 different melodies. The whales also altered their songs from year to year.

6 Apr 2018

Bowhead whales, the 'jazz musicians' of the Arctic, sing many different songs

UW News, Hannah Hickey

"If humpback whale song is like classical music, bowheads are jazz," says Kate Stafford. "The sound is more freeform. And when we looked through four winters of acoustic data, not only were there never any song types repeated between years, but each season had a new set of songs."

3 Apr 2018

More News Items

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center
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