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Lab Life

Following the lives and activities of Parks Lab Members

Parks Lab Holiday Party by Dana Cusano

December 15, 2014

This week the Parks lab continued its tradition of a holiday party to celebrate the end of a year of hard work and accepted publications. We ate pizza and treats until we were bursting and exchanged our “Secret Snowman” gifts to reveal who got a gift from which lab member. And most importantly, we poured all the creativity the Parks lab has to offer into decorating a gingerbread house!

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Spectrogram Shenanigans by Jessica McCordic

December 4, 2014

In my ongoing quest to classify individual right whales using upcalls, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks adding in some new parameters that may help discriminate among the animals. Following in our postdoc Holly’s footsteps, I’m adding amplitude measurements to see if amplitude variation is as important for right whales as it seems to be for wolves. In addition, I’m adding a categorical measurement of nonlinear phenomena classifications. What are nonlinear phenomena, you might ask? Although they sound like yet another Star-Trek-esque aspect of my project, Tyson et al. explain these phenomena quite well in their 2007 paper. In short, nonlinear phenomena occur when the vocal folds aren’t behaving themselves; think of how hoarse your voice gets while yelling, for example.

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Field Trip to the Zoo by Dana Cusano

November 24, 2014

I came to Syracuse to study right whale calls, but as Susan’s passion for bioacoustics is indefatigable, I shouldn’t have been surprised that my first trip out had a very different target, albeit one much easier to observe. Asian elephants are charismatic, huge and have complex social lives, and now we hope to have the privilege of studying their calls in captivity. So a field trip to our nearest elephant herd was in order.

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The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium - 2015 by Dana Cusano

November 8, 2014

This past week three members of the lab, Dana, Jessica and myself, travelled to New Bedford, MA to attend the 2015 North Atlantic right whale consortium meeting at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The right whale consortium is a group of individuals interested in the conservation of the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale, and it consists of academics, researchers, veterinarians, representatives from government and statement management agencies, non-profits, and students, and the meeting provides an annual opportunity for us all to come together and update the current status of the population, highlight ongoing research, and to discuss the current conservation issues and upcoming threats to the recovery of this species.

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The Parks Lab at the Animal Behavior Meeting by Dana Cusano

August 15, 2014

This past week, Dana, Hannah and I travelled to Princeton, NJ for the 51st annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society. It was only my second time attending the meeting, and a first for both Hannah and Dana. The setting at Princeton University was beautiful, though it did take a day or so to orient to the circuitous routes around campus. The first day I felt as thought I was inside some sort of 19th century maze.  My niece and nephew are current students at Princeton, and my brother and his wife both attended, so it was fun to see where they all went to school.

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Bioacoustics in the Classroom by Jessica McCordic

August 13, 2014

Who knew insects could be so useful?

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Adventures in Macro Photography by Jessica McCordic

August 1, 2014

Although our insects are generally favorable as far as logistics and productivity, looking at tiny critters presents its own challenges. The insect work in the Parks Lab has inspired me to make several adjustments to my sense of scope.

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