Saturday, August 25, 2007



M.S. with honors, Biology, San Francisco State University 2004
B.S. with honors, Biology, Northeastern University 1998

Research Interests

Social behavior, communication and cognition; learning; cooperative behavior; alloparental care; vocal development; individual recognition; conservation


Khan, C. B., Markowitz, H., and McCowan, B. (2006). Vocal development in captive harbor seal pups, Phoca vitulina richardii: age, sex, and individual differences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 120 (3), 1684-1694 .

Khan, C. B. (2004). Vocal development in harbor seal pups, Phoca vitulina. M.Sc. Thesis, San Francisco State University.

Conference Presentations

Khan, C., McCowan, B., and Markowitz., H. (2003). Vocal development in captive harbor seal pups, Phoca vitulina. 15th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. Greensboro, North Carolina.

Khan, C. B., Markowitz, H., and McCowan, B. (2002). Aerial vocal development in captive harbor seal pups, Phoca vitulina richardsi and Phoca vitulina concolor. Carnivores 2002- From the Mountains to the Sea: A Conference on Carnivore Biology and Conservation. Monterey, California.

Current Projects

Aerial Surveys, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
The main objectives of the right whale aerial survey program are to document the distribution of right whales in Cape Cod Bay, use photo-identification to identify individual whales, and examine whales for evidence of entanglement in fishing gear.
Nathalie Jacquet, P. I.

Dolphin Play Signals, Dolphin Communication Project
Vocalizations of wild bottlenose and spotted dolphins are being investigated for the presence of an acoustic signal to indicate play behavior similar to that found in captive dolphins.
Kathleen Dudzinski, P. I.

Vocal Development of Atlantic Harbor Seal Pups
"Mother Attraction Calls" recorded from Atlantic harbor seal pups in Maine, Phoca vitulina concolor, are being compared to those of the Pacific subspecies, Phoca vitulina richardii, as well as being analyzed for age, sex, and individual differences.
Christin Khan, P. I.

Dolphin Cognition Project, Case Western Reserve University
Behavioral and cognitive research involving free-ranging cetaceans. Consulting work includes research project design, recommendations for hardware/software purchases, data collection, processing, and sub-project results reporting.
Sara Waller, P. I.

Research Experience

2006-2007 Aerial survey team leader, Wildlife Trust

Surveys were flown in South Carolina and Georgia to monitor the spatial and temporal distribution of endangered North Atlantic right whales, Eubalaena glacialis. Responsibilities included coordinating, overseeing and participating in right whale aerial surveys, supervising observers, coordinating aircraft support, scheduling staff and flights, managing and tracking budgets, managing data and photographic images, analyzing data and writing final reports.
Cyndi Taylor, P. I.

2005-2006 Aerial survey observer, Wildlife Trust

Surveys were flown off the coast of Georgia to document the presence of endangered North Atlantic right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, and provide real-time GPS positions to vessel traffic in an effort to reduce the risk of ship strikes, a major source of mortality.
Cyndi Taylor, P. I.

2001-2004 Vocal Development in Harbor Seal Pups, SFSU
Research to determine when harbor seal pup vocalizations become sufficiently distinctive to allow individual recognition using acoustic cues. A total of 4593 calls were analyzed from 15 captive pups for differences attributable to age, sex, and individual identity.
Christin Khan, P. I.

2003 Whale Watching, Center for Oceanic Research and Education
Educated passengers aboard a commercial whale watch vessel and collected behavioral and photo-id data on humpback, fin, and minke whales. Re-designed data sheets and put together educational material for young passengers.
Lisa Foerster-Fox, P. I.

2001-2002 Monitoring Disturbance to Harbor Seals, Richmond Bridge Harbor Seal Survey
As a field biologist, I collected data on harbor seal abundance, sex, and response to human disturbance during the seismic retrofit of the Richmond Bridge.
Dr. Sarah Allen and Dr. Hal Markowitz, P. I.

2000 Cetacean Behavior Laboratory, San Diego State University
Worked with several projects on bottlenose dolphins including photo- identification, cliff-based behavioral observations, and acoustical monitoring of nighttime foraging behavior. Also performed an acoustic analysis to discriminate between the vocalizations of several cetacean species.
Dr. R. H. Defran, P. I.

1999-2000 Gray Whale Migration Study, San Diego State University
Behavioral observations, and data entry into the computer program, Aardvark, as part of a study tracking the migration of gray whales from a cliff-based observation platform in San Diego.
Lisa Schwarz, P. I.

Professional Affiliations

The Society for Marine Mammalogy

Animal Behavior Society


Cyndi Taylor
Conservation Biologist
Wildlife Trust

Dr. Brenda McCowan
Research Behaviorist
University of California, Davis

Dr. Sara Waller
Professor of Philosophy
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Hal Markowitz
Professor of Biology
San Francisco State University

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