Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Baby…..Shark!

Are you singing the song now? I began my day with Kel and her two kids, learning about – sharks! We had a private tour of the Bimini Biological Field Station (aka SharkLab). With preschool attention spans in mind, Chessie took us straight out to the pens. Here, we had a nice encounter with Dave the nurse shark and a lemon shark we nicknamed “Sour.” We got lots of great information and even got to touch (kids) and hold (grownups) Dave. Thank you Chessie! I got back to North Bimini and soon, it was time to go out again! And this afternoon had some surprises for us… We found a group of more than 20 spotted dolphins today! A lot…

First trip with DCP today!

On Wednesday, I was able to join my first official DCP dolphin trip with Bimini Adventures. We left the Sea Crest marina around 1:30pm to look for dolphins. After two hours of searching and despite our twelve eyes scanning the sea, nothing. But as Kel has told me, we don’t always find them, sometimes they find us… And suddenly, there they are, five spotted dolphins coming straight at us! One juvenile and four adults, among which two well-known females: Romeo (#10) and Swoosh (#36, pictured here, with her tell-tale half-pec fin)! It’s time for the guests to go in! Because these guests have privately chartered the boat so they can focus on their photography, I stay on the boat and…
Are Dolphins Creative?
21 Apr 2019

Are Dolphins Creative?

We’ve observed dolphins engage in a variety of behaviors from exchanging contacts to chasing one another to vocalizing to creating bubble bursts. They produce behaviors singly or in combination, by themselves or with peers. We’ve documented unique actions and typical interactions. But, what we’d not, until recently, examined was whether dolphins could be creative. And if so, maybe we could figure out just how creative they could be. In January 2018 and 2019, we (Drs’ Hill, Yeater, and Dudzinski) spent time at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) at Anthony’s Key Resort, with Head Dolphin Trainer, Teri Bolton, to investigate whether dolphins could be creative. Check out this video that explains how we collected the data to assess creativity…

Manon the Tourist and Kel at Swim Camp

Manon is in Bimini during DCP’s off-season, doing data analyses her Master’s project. But, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a chance to see the dolphins! Soon after arriving, she and Kel went in search of #104 (“Lamda”), but didn’t see any dolphins. Here, Manon describes finally getting to see the Bimini dolphins! “Several weeks have passed and after few failing attempts to go out for dolphins because of poor weather conditions, last Thursday was the day. DCP did not have any research trips scheduled, so I played tourist and joined a dolphin trip from North Bimini. A beautiful sunny day, calm sea, the perfect conditions to go out looking for them. After more than an hour and a half…

Another chance to join us in The Bahamas!

With our 30 June – 5 July Bimini (The Bahamas) eco-tour nearly filled (only one spot left!), we’ve decided to try for a second session! If you’ve always been curious about DCP’s wild dolphin research and think it would be awesome to observe and swim with wild dolphins, sign-up today! Check-in Sunday 11 August, Check-out Friday 16 August Click here for more details and get your deposit in today!

Bimini, here I am!

Introducing, DCP’s spring intern, Manon! Manon is a Master’s student from France who has spent about 5 weeks working at DCP’s Florida office and is now continuing her research project at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site. We hope you enjoy reading Manon’s perspective over the coming weeks! ~Kel ……. I got the first stunning sight of Bimini Islands from the plane, and it was only the beginning… After one month of data processing in Florida, it was time for me to go into the field, hoping to see some of our well-known dolphins. On Friday, I had time to unpack my suitcase, get a personalized island tour (thanks to Kel) and I was ready for my next two months…

Well, came up with some bottlenose

On Saturday, things finally lined up: boats were in order, captain was free and the seas were calm. We headed out in search of “Lamda” (DCP ID#104). Lamda grew up around Bimini, but stranded far from home in late Aug 2018; he was rescued, rehabilitated and released with a satellite tag (read all about it here and here). But, the satellite data was weak for the last several days; the few points that were coming in were really bad quality, which means they didn’t provide reliable information about Lamda’s location. Still, with email access sorted on my phone, we headed out. Turns out the weather was fantastic. But, no satellite data came in. So, we searched as we normally do…

Finding Lamda

While we wait to see "Lamda" (DCPID#104) again, we thought you'd like to see how he was doing during our January observation. The video isn't edited - just the real recording of how he was swimming (great, by the way). The rescue, rehab, release and monitoring of this guy has been a serious team effort involving: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization, The Wild Dolphin Project, Atlantis Bahamas and the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. We're hoping to see more of #104 soon. And certainly during our 2019 Bimini field season, which begins in April. If you want to come search for Lamda with us, snag one of the remaining spaces on our 30 Jun - 5 July 2019 eco-tour! Click here for…

Want to be a DCP Intern?

We're now accepting applications! There isn't much time - the deadline is 1 March. Click here to read all about our summer internship program. Office and field portions are required. Office portion is completed in Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA and field portion is completed in Bimini, The Bahamas. Interns must be proficient with Microsoft Word and Excel, have a strong attention to detail, be able to work well both independently and in small teams, be flexible and be comfortable in hot weather, on a boat and swimming in open water. Proficiency in English is a requirement. We understand that letters of recommendation often take time to acquire. If you need more time for your letter(s) of recommendation, please request…

Back in the classrooms!

On Tuesday, I had a chance to get back into a few Bimini classrooms. This time, I was joined by my friend, Jillian Morris, Founder and President of Sharks4Kids. We visited students in Grades 2, 3 and 4. We chatted about the importance of the ocean, compared (& contrasted!) dolphins and sharks, and we all agreed that Jillian and I can in fact be friends, even though she studies sharks and I study dolphins. In fact, the students even decided that one person can like both! After all, sharks aren’t the bad guys of the sea and dolphins are pretty tough and cool too. Thank you to the teachers and principal of Bimini Primary - and of course, the students!…
Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019
07 Feb 2019

Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019

Our team arrived late yesterday to Nassau for 3 packed days of research. Our team includes Heather, Jill, and Donna who joined Kathleen for this field session at Blue Lagoon Island, home of Dolphin Encounters. We are here to collaborate with Te-Shalla and Destaney in collecting data on whether dolphins express a choice in receiving a single fish versus a jackpot of fish in advance of studying whether they will choose the larger amount after a delay or the single fish immediately. We did lots of standing and observing and watching dolphins. It was the best way to spend our day! Among friends and with dolphins! We also toured a bit of the island and enjoyed a delicious lunch. (the…
DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019
22 Jan 2019

DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019

I spent a VERY productive three weeks on Roatan at Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) collecting data on the dolphins at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS). I was joined by two student groups – one (14 students) from Colorado State University (CSU) and one (11 students) from the University of Rhode Island (URI). Thank you to Dr. K (CSU) and Dr. R (URI) for continuing to collaborate with me and DCP and co-teaching students on topics focused on animal behavior and physiology. (Thank you also to Ron B. and his family for participating in some of DCP’s first week programs on this field session!) During my third week in the field this month, I was joined by Heather, Dee…
Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!
18 Jan 2019

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!

Another early day was greeted by overcast skies and some choppy sea conditions. The underwater visibility was still good and I was able to collect another 30 minutes of underwater video of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key. They were much more subdued as compared with yesterday! And, because there was still a bit of a current, though crossing differently from yesterday, the dolphins seemed to stay close to the shore area. The males were chasing one another while there was much infant swimming by the females and their calves and the younger females, too. We stayed at Bailey’s after my underwater data collection to welcome Teri and continue with our innovative data collection. And, Heather and Dee worked diligently to…
Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!
18 Jan 2019

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!

Another early day was greeted by overcast skies and some choppy sea conditions. The underwater visibility was still good and I was able to collect another 30 minutes of underwater video of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key. They were much more subdued as compared with yesterday! And, because there was still a bit of a current, though crossing differently from yesterday, the dolphins seemed to stay close to the shore area. The males were chasing one another while there was much infant swimming by the females and their calves and the younger females, too. We stayed at Bailey’s after my underwater data collection to welcome Teri and continue with our innovative data collection. And, Heather and Dee worked diligently to…
A Very Busy Day!
17 Jan 2019

A Very Busy Day!

We started the day early with an aerial view of Heather, Dee and I traveling by water taxi to Bailey’s Key for data collection. I had a ~26 min morning data collection session in which Meredith and Sarah, two trainers from RIMS, joined our observations. They got in the water also and it was funny to watch the dolphins react to their presence! A very social group of dolphins became even more social and very vocal! There was much circle swimming around Meredith and Sarah and much social rubbing, also! To use anthropomorphic terms – it seemed like the dolphins got a huge treat with additional early morning visitors!The rest of our morning was spent collecting data for the dolphin…

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Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
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USA

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