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Listening in the Anthropocene: Humpback Whale Communication in a Changing Ocean

October 20, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Science Matters Lunch and Learn is presented in partnership with the Kansas City Public Library.

The program

Humpback whale song changed the human relationship with whales when it was first recorded in the 1970s. But humpback whales do more than sing, and their social sounds – or “calls” – can tell us more about how they communicate and engage with their environments in an increasingly noisy world. Join us for a talk from Dr. Michelle Fournet, whose work took center stage in the recently released Apple TV+ documentary, Fathom. She will share her research on humpback whale calls, what it has revealed about their culture, and how increased human activity impacts ocean life.

The speaker

Dr. Michelle Fournet is an acoustic ecologist that studies marine animal communication. Her research program spans the tropics to the poles investigating toadfish, snapping shrimp, Arctic seals, and bowhead whales, but her primary focus is on how humpback whales communicate on their Alaskan foraging grounds, and their resilience to changing ocean soundscapes. Dr. Fournet received her MS and Ph.D. from Oregon State University, where she worked with NOAA and the National Park Service. She is a postdoctoral researcher with Cornell University’s K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics and also the director of the Sound Science Research Collective.

Accessing the Program

This free, online program will take place via Zoom. Registration is currently open and will remain open until the event has ended. Your link to join the program will be included in the confirmation email and on the confirmation screen after you complete your registration.

Click here to register

The Linda Hall Library encourages people of all backgrounds and abilities to enjoy our public programs. Closed captions are provided. If you require additional reasonable accommodations in order to participate, please contact events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8753 at least 24 hours in advance of the program.

Once you register for this event, you will receive email communications from the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. You may choose to opt out of these communications at any time. Your contact information will not be sold or provided to any third parties.

The program will also be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page.

Further reading at the Linda Hall Library

This program is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its content is solely the responsibility of the Linda Hall Library.


October 20
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Linda Hall Library
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

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