Dr. Jason Bruck, associate professor of biology

Bruck along with Paige Stevens, doctoral student, and Veda Allen, undergraduate student in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, published a paper in the journal Animals that highlights how the pause in ocean noise that followed the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown affected how dolphins responded to noises when human activity resumed.

Dolphins were exposed to noises such as those from cruise ships, jet skis and low-frequency Navy sonar. While under normal pre-pandemic conditions, dolphins seemed to adjust to cruise ship noises, giving them little attention. After the COVID-19 lockdown, dolphins seemed to have trouble ignoring those sounds, speaking to the dolphins’ ability, or lack thereof, to avoid distraction in an increasingly noisy ocean.