This Summer, the first ever winners of the Louis M. Herman Research Scholarship were announced. The Scholarship was developed to honor the legacy of TDI’s co-founder Dr. Louis M. Herman, who conducted scores of groundbreaking studies of dolphin cognition and pioneered the scientific study of humpback whales in Hawaiian waters. Developed by Dr. Herman’s family and TDI President Dr. Adam Pack, the scholarship is supported by charitable donations to TDI, and administered by the Marine Mammal Society.
In this inaugural year of the scholarship, the committee of distinguished researchers serving as judges placed two applicants together at the top, and so the decision was made to support both of their projects.
The successful applicants for 2018 were Rebecca Hamilton from University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth and the Cedar Key Dolphin Project and Solene Derville from Sorbonne Universités and Opération Cétacés in New Caledonia.
Rebecca’s project, “Cognition in the wild: Dolphin communication during a role-specialized foraging tactic” will investigate how bottlenose dolphins facilitate coordination of role-specialized behavior during foraging, furthering our understanding of complex cognition in wild dolphins.
Solene’s study, “Whales of the deep: Analyzing movement and diving of humpback whales to understand oceanic breeding congregations in New Caledonia,” will provide a unique opportunity to understand the spatio-temporal scale of the humpback whale floating lek systems and explore the drivers of habitat selection during the breeding season.
You can learn more about these promising students and exciting work here.