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Dr Stephanie King

Animal communication and cognition

I'm a behavioural biologist with a primary focus on animal communication systems and how these systems have evolved to help mediate complex social behaviours.

To date, much of my research has focused on the temporal and social aspects of vocal interactions in bottlenose dolphins, and their use of individually distinctive signature whistles. I have over a decade's worth of experience studying marine mammal acoustic communication, as well as extensive experience in assessing the consequences of anthropogenic noise disturbance on marine mammal populations.

My current research interests lie with exploring the role vocal communication plays in mediating complex social behaviours, such as cooperation, in animal systems. I continue to use bottlenose dolphins as a model system, with the aim of understanding how dynamic social environments may influence and shape the communicative strategies that animals employ when making decisions of when and with whom to cooperate.

I am a PI of the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Alliance alongside Prof Richard Connor, Prof Michael Krützen and Dr Simon Allen.
Please visit our website www.sharkbaydolphins.org to find out more about the research currently underway in Shark Bay.

Research keywords

  • acoustic communication
  • vocal learning
  • animal cognition
  • cooperation
  • marine mammals
  • social networks
  • animal culture
  • playback experiments