Research Areas research areas


  • Dr. Michelle Fournet is an acoustic ecologist who uses sound to investigate the interactions between marine organisms and human activities. This includes:

    - Investigating how marine organisms use sound to facilitate vital life functions (animal communication);
    - Investigating the potential impact of anthropogenic noise and climate change on marine species and environments (anthropogenic impacts), and
    - investigating how sound can be used as an indicator of ecosystem health (acoustic indicators).

    The overarching goal of the Marine Bioacoustics and Behavior Lab (Sea BABEL) is to use bioacoustics as a tool to further conservation and to assess species’ resilience to changing oceans. Much of Dr. Fournet’s work focuses on Arctic and sub-Arctic marine mammals including cetaceans and pinnipeds; she also studies the acoustics of sub-tropical fishes.

    Students that are interested in joining Sea BABEL are encouraged to look through Dr. Fournet’s lab website before reaching out to her directly by email.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2023 Underwater sound of three unoccupied aerial vehicles at varying altitudes and horizontal distancesJournal of the Acoustical Society of America.  153:3419-3419. 2023
    2022 Impact of whale-watching vessels on humpback whale calling behavior on an Icelandic foraging ground during the Covid-19 pandemicMarine Ecology: Progress Series.  701:159-173. 2022
    2022 Altered acoustic community structure indicates delayed recovery following ecosystem perturbationsEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.  274:107948-107948. 2022
    2022 Humpback whale call repertoire on a northeastern Newfoundland foraging groundMarine Mammal Science.  38:256-273. 2022
    2021 Using Conspecific Playbacks to Investigate Contact Calling in Southeast Alaskan Humpback Whales 2021
    2021 Allopatric humpback whales of differing generations share call types between foraging and wintering grounds.Scientific Reports.  11:16297. 2021
    2021 Limited vocal compensation for elevated ambient noise in bearded seals: implications for an industrializing Arctic Ocean.Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.  288:20202712. 2021
    2021 Effects of Intertidal Position on Metabolism and Behavior in the Acorn Barnacle, Balanus glandula.Integr Org Biol.  3:obab010. 2021
    2020 Acoustically advertising male harbour seals in southeast Alaska do not make biologically relevant acoustic adjustments in the presence of vessel noise.Biology Letters.  16:20190795. 2020
    2019 Relationship between salinity and sonic fish advertisement behavior in a managed sub-tropical estuary: Making the case for an acoustic indicator speciesEcological Indicators.  106:105531-105531. 2019
    2019 Comparing the Underwater Soundscapes of Four US National Parks and Marine SanctuariesFrontiers in Marine Science.  6. 2019
    2019 Incorporating tides into the acoustic ecology of humpback whalesMarine Mammal Science.  35:234-251. 2019
    2018 Humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae alter calling behavior in response to natural sounds and vessel noiseMarine Ecology: Progress Series.  607:251-268. 2018
    2018 Some things never change: multi-decadal stability in humpback whale calling repertoire on Southeast Alaskan foraging grounds.Scientific Reports.  8:13186. 2018
    2018 Feeding calls produced by solitary humpback whalesMarine Mammal Science.  34:851-865. 2018
    2018 Source levels of foraging humpback whale calls.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  143:EL105. 2018
    2018 More of the same: allopatric humpback whale populations share acoustic repertoire.PeerJ.  6:e5365. 2018
    2017 Source levels and call parameters of harbor seal breeding vocalizations near a terrestrial haulout site in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  141:EL274. 2017
    2015 Repertoire and classification of non-song calls in Southeast Alaskan humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  137:1-10. 2015
    2014 Social calling behavior in Southeast Alaskan humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): Communication and contextJournal of the Acoustical Society of America.  136:2153-2154. 2014
    2013 Vocal repertoire of Southeast Alaskan humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  134:3988-3988. 2013

    Teaching Activities

  • Independent Investigations Taught course
  • MEFB Honors Senior Thesis Taught course
  • Marine Mammalogy Taught course
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2023
  • Marine Bioacoustics Taught course 2023
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2022
  • Introduction to Marine Biology Taught course 2022
  • Education And Training

  • Ph.D. Wildlife Biology, Oregon State University
  • Full Name

  • Michelle Fournet