Van Parijs Sofie M.

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Van Parijs
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Sofie M.

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  • Article
    Long-term passive acoustic recordings track the changing distribution of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) from 2004 to 2014
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2017-10-18) Davis, Genevieve E. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Bonnell, Julianne M. ; Bell, Joel ; Berchok, Catherine L. ; Bort Thornton, Jacqueline ; Brault, Solange ; Buchanan, Gary ; Charif, Russell A. ; Cholewiak, Danielle ; Clark, Christopher W. ; Corkeron, Peter ; Delarue, Julien ; Dudzinski, Kathleen ; Hatch, Leila ; Hildebrand, John ; Hodge, Lynne ; Klinck, Holger ; Kraus, Scott D. ; Martin, Bruce ; Mellinger, David K. ; Moors-Murphy, Hilary ; Nieukirk, Sharon ; Nowacek, Douglas P. ; Parks, Susan E. ; Read, Andrew J. ; Rice, Aaron N. ; Risch, Denise ; Širović, Ana ; Soldevilla, Melissa ; Stafford, Kathleen M. ; Stanistreet, Joy ; Summers, Erin ; Todd, Sean ; Warde, Ann M. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M.
    Given new distribution patterns of the endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW; Eubalaena glacialis) population in recent years, an improved understanding of spatio-temporal movements are imperative for the conservation of this species. While so far visual data have provided most information on NARW movements, passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) was used in this study in order to better capture year-round NARW presence. This project used PAM data from 2004 to 2014 collected by 19 organizations throughout the western North Atlantic Ocean. Overall, data from 324 recorders (35,600 days) were processed and analyzed using a classification and detection system. Results highlight almost year-round habitat use of the western North Atlantic Ocean, with a decrease in detections in waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in summer and fall. Data collected post 2010 showed an increased NARW presence in the mid-Atlantic region and a simultaneous decrease in the northern Gulf of Maine. In addition, NARWs were widely distributed across most regions throughout winter months. This study demonstrates that a large-scale analysis of PAM data provides significant value to understanding and tracking shifts in large whale movements over long time scales.
  • Article
    Ontogenetic variation in the hearing sensitivity of black sea bass (Centropristis striata) and the implications of anthropogenic sound on behavior and communication
    (Company of Biologists, 2020-05-27) Stanley, Jenni A. ; Caiger, Paul E. ; Phelan, Beth ; Shelledy, Katharine ; Mooney, T. Aran ; Van Parijs, Sofie M.
    Black sea bass (Centropristis striata) is an important fish species in both commercial and recreational fisheries of southern New England and the mid-Atlantic Bight. Due to the intense urbanization of these waters, this species is subject to a wide range of anthropogenic noise pollution. Concerns that C. striata are negatively affected by pile driving and construction noise predominate in areas earmarked for energy development. However, as yet, the hearing range of C. striata is unknown, making it hard to evaluate potential risks. This study is a first step in understanding the effects of anthropogenic noise on C. striata by determining the auditory bandwidth and thresholds of this species using auditory evoked potentials (AEPs), creating pressure and acceleration audiograms. These physiological tests were conducted on wild-caught C. striata in three size/age categories. Results showed that juvenile C. striata significantly had the lowest thresholds, with hearing sensitivity decreasing in the larger size classes. Furthermore, Centropristis striata has fairly sensitive hearing relative to other related species. Preliminary investigations into the mechanisms of their hearing ability were undertaken with gross dissections and an opportunistic micro computed tomography image to address the auditory structures including otoliths and swimbladder morphology. Crucially, the hearing range of C. striata, and their most sensitive frequencies, directly overlap with high-amplitude anthropogenic noise pollution such as shipping and underwater construction.
  • Article
    Slocum gliders provide accurate near real-time estimates of baleen whale presence from human-reviewed passive acoustic detection information
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-02-25) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Bonnell, Julianne M. ; Corkeron, Peter ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Hotchkin, Cara ; Hodges, Benjamin A. ; Bort Thornton, Jacqueline ; Mensi, Bryan L. ; Bruner, Scott M.
    Mitigating the effects of human activities on marine mammals often depends on monitoring animal occurrence over long time scales, large spatial scales, and in real time. Passive acoustics, particularly from autonomous vehicles, is a promising approach to meeting this need. We have previously developed the capability to record, detect, classify, and transmit to shore information about the tonal sounds of baleen whales in near real time from long-endurance ocean gliders. We have recently developed a protocol by which a human analyst reviews this information to determine the presence of marine mammals, and the results of this review are automatically posted to a publicly accessible website, sent directly to interested parties via email or text, and made available to stakeholders via a number of public and private digital applications. We evaluated the performance of this system during two 3.75-month Slocum glider deployments in the southwestern Gulf of Maine during the spring seasons of 2015 and 2016. Near real-time detections of humpback, fin, sei, and North Atlantic right whales were compared to detections of these species from simultaneously recorded audio. Data from another 2016 glider deployment in the same area were also used to compare results between three different analysts to determine repeatability of results both among and within analysts. False detection (occurrence) rates on daily time scales were 0% for all species. Daily missed detection rates ranged from 17 to 24%. Agreement between two trained novice analysts and an experienced analyst was greater than 95% for fin, sei, and right whales, while agreement was 83–89% for humpback whales owing to the more subjective process for detecting this species. Our results indicate that the presence of baleen whales can be accurately determined using information about tonal sounds transmitted in near real-time from Slocum gliders. The system is being used operationally to monitor baleen whales in United States, Canadian, and Chilean waters, and has been particularly useful for monitoring the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale throughout the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
  • Article
    Real-time reporting of baleen whale passive acoustic detections from ocean gliders
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2013-08) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Fratantoni, David M. ; Hurst, Thomas P. ; Brown, Moira W. ; Cole, Timothy V. N. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Johnson, Mark P.
    In the past decade, much progress has been made in real-time passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammal occurrence and distribution from autonomous platforms (e.g., gliders, floats, buoys), but current systems focus primarily on a single call type produced by a single species, often from a single location. A hardware and software system was developed to detect, classify, and report 14 call types produced by 4 species of baleen whales in real time from ocean gliders. During a 3-week deployment in the central Gulf of Maine in late November and early December 2012, two gliders reported over 25 000 acoustic detections attributed to fin, humpback, sei, and right whales. The overall false detection rate for individual calls was 14%, and for right, humpback, and fin whales, false predictions of occurrence during 15-min reporting periods were 5% or less. Transmitted pitch tracks—compact representations of sounds—allowed unambiguous identification of both humpback and fin whale song. Of the ten cases when whales were sighted during aerial or shipboard surveys and a glider was within 20 km of the sighting location, nine were accompanied by real-time acoustic detections of the same species by the glider within ±12 h of the sighting time.
  • Article
    Near real-time detection of low-frequency baleen whale calls from an autonomous surface vehicle: implementation, evaluation, and remaining challenges
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2021-05-04) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Ball, Keenan R. ; Partan, James W. ; Pelletier, Léo‐Paul ; Bonnell, Julianne M. ; Hotchkin, Cara ; Corkeron, Peter ; Van Parijs, Sofie M.
    Mitigation of threats posed to marine mammals by human activities can be greatly improved with a better understanding of animal occurrence in real time. Recent advancements have enabled low-power passive acoustic systems to be integrated into long-endurance autonomous platforms for persistent near real-time monitoring of marine mammals via the sounds they produce. Here, the integration of a passive acoustic instrument capable of real-time detection and classification of low-frequency (LF) tonal sounds with a Liquid Robotics wave glider is reported. The goal of the integration was to enable monitoring of LF calls produced by baleen whales over periods of several months. Mechanical noises produced by the platform were significantly reduced by lubricating moving parts with polytetrafluoroethylene, incorporating rubber and springs to decelerate moving parts and shock mounting hydrophones. Flow noise was reduced with the development of a 21-element hydrophone array. Surface noise produced by breaking waves was not mitigated despite experimentation with baffles. Compared to a well-characterized moored passive acoustic monitoring buoy, the system greatly underestimated the occurrence of sei, fin, and North Atlantic right whales during a 37-d deployment, and therefore is not suitable in its current configuration for use in scientific or management applications for these species at this time.
  • Article
    Low frequency vocalizations attributed to sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2008-08) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Wenzel, Frederick W. ; Tremblay, Christopher J. ; Esch, H. Carter ; Warde, Ann M.
    Low frequency (<100 Hz) downsweep vocalizations were repeatedly recorded from ocean gliders east of Cape Cod, MA in May 2005. To identify the species responsible for this call, arrays of acoustic recorders were deployed in this same area during 2006 and 2007. 70 h of collocated visual observations at the center of each array were used to compare the localized occurrence of this call to the occurrence of three baleen whale species: right, humpback, and sei whales. The low frequency call was significantly associated only with the occurrence of sei whales. On average, the call swept from 82 to 34 Hz over 1.4 s and was most often produced as a single call, although pairs and (more rarely) triplets were occasionally detected. Individual calls comprising the pairs were localized to within tens of meters of one another and were more similar to one another than to contemporaneous calls by other whales, suggesting that paired calls may be produced by the same animal. A synthetic kernel was developed to facilitate automatic detection of this call using spectrogram-correlation methods. The optimal kernel missed 14% of calls, and of all the calls that were automatically detected, 15% were false positives.
  • Article
    Exploring movement patterns and changing distributions of baleen whales in the western North Atlantic using a decade of passive acoustic data
    (Wiley, 2020-05-25) Davis, Genevieve E. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Corkeron, Peter ; Bell, Joel ; Berchok, Catherine L. ; Bonnell, Julianne M. ; Bort Thornton, Jacqueline ; Brault, Solange ; Buchanan, Gary ; Cholewiak, Danielle ; Clark, Christopher W. ; Delarue, Julien ; Hatch, Leila ; Klinck, Holger ; Kraus, Scott D. ; Martin, Bruce ; Mellinger, David K. ; Moors-Murphy, Hilary ; Nieukirk, Sharon ; Nowacek, Douglas P. ; Parks, Susan E. ; Parry, Dawn ; Pegg, Nicole ; Read, Andrew J. ; Rice, Aaron N. ; Risch, Denise ; Scott, Alyssa ; Soldevilla, Melissa ; Stafford, Kathleen M. ; Stanistreet, Joy ; Summers, Erin ; Todd, Sean ; Van Parijs, Sofie M.
    Six baleen whale species are found in the temperate western North Atlantic Ocean, with limited information existing on the distribution and movement patterns for most. There is mounting evidence of distributional shifts in many species, including marine mammals, likely because of climate‐driven changes in ocean temperature and circulation. Previous acoustic studies examined the occurrence of minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) and North Atlantic right whales (NARW; Eubalaena glacialis ). This study assesses the acoustic presence of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae ), sei (B. borealis ), fin (B. physalus ), and blue whales (B. musculus ) over a decade, based on daily detections of their vocalizations. Data collected from 2004 to 2014 on 281 bottom‐mounted recorders, totaling 35,033 days, were processed using automated detection software and screened for each species' presence. A published study on NARW acoustics revealed significant changes in occurrence patterns between the periods of 2004–2010 and 2011–2014; therefore, these same time periods were examined here. All four species were present from the Southeast United States to Greenland; humpback whales were also present in the Caribbean. All species occurred throughout all regions in the winter, suggesting that baleen whales are widely distributed during these months. Each of the species showed significant changes in acoustic occurrence after 2010. Similar to NARWs, sei whales had higher acoustic occurrence in mid‐Atlantic regions after 2010. Fin, blue, and sei whales were more frequently detected in the northern latitudes of the study area after 2010. Despite this general northward shift, all four species were detected less on the Scotian Shelf area after 2010, matching documented shifts in prey availability in this region. A decade of acoustic observations have shown important distributional changes over the range of baleen whales, mirroring known climatic shifts and identifying new habitats that will require further protection from anthropogenic threats like fixed fishing gear, shipping, and noise pollution.
  • Article
    Persistent near real-time passive acoustic monitoring for baleen whales from a moored buoy: System description and evaluation
    (Wiley, 2019-06-24) Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Bonnell, Julianne M. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Corkeron, Peter ; Hotchkin, Cara ; Ball, Keenan R. ; Pelletier, Léo‐Paul ; Partan, James W. ; Peters, Donald B. ; Kemp, John N. ; Pietro, Jeff ; Newhall, Kris ; Stokes, Andrew ; Cole, Timothy V. N. ; Quintana, Ester ; Kraus, Scott D.
    1. Managing interactions between human activities and marine mammals often relies on an understanding of the real‐time distribution or occurrence of animals. Visual surveys typically cannot provide persistent monitoring because of expense and weather limitations, and while passive acoustic recorders can monitor continuously, the data they collect are often not accessible until the recorder is recovered. 2. We have developed a moored passive acoustic monitoring system that provides near real‐time occurrence estimates for humpback, sei, fin and North Atlantic right whales from a single site for a year, and makes those occurrence estimates available via a publicly accessible website, email and text messages, a smartphone/tablet app and the U.S. Coast Guard's maritime domain awareness software. We evaluated this system using a buoy deployed off the coast of Massachusetts during 2015–2016 and redeployed again during 2016–2017. Near real‐time estimates of whale occurrence were compared to simultaneously collected archived audio as well as whale sightings collected near the buoy by aerial surveys. 3. False detection rates for right, humpback and sei whales were 0% and nearly 0% for fin whales, whereas missed detection rates at daily time scales were modest (12%–42%). Missed detections were significantly associated with low calling rates for all species. We observed strong associations between right whale visual sightings and near real‐time acoustic detections over a monitoring range 30–40 km and temporal scales of 24–48 hr, suggesting that silent animals were not especially problematic for estimating occurrence of right whales in the study area. There was no association between acoustic detections and visual sightings of humpback whales. 4. The moored buoy has been used to reduce the risk of ship strikes for right whales in a U.S. Coast Guard gunnery range, and can be applied to other mitigation applications.
  • Article
    Identifying the distribution of Atlantic cod spawning using multiple fixed and glider-mounted acoustic technologies
    (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-21) Zemeckis, Douglas R. ; Dean, Micah J. ; DeAngelis, Annamaria I. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M. ; Hoffman, William S. ; Baumgartner, Mark F. ; Hatch, Leila ; Cadrin, Steven X. ; McGuire, Christopher H.
    Effective fishery management measures to protect fish spawning aggregations require reliable information on the spatio-temporal distribution of spawning. Spawning closures have been part of a suite of fishery management actions to rebuild the Gulf of Maine stock of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), but difficulties remain with managing rebuilding. The objective of this study was to identify the spatial and temporal distribution of cod spawning during winter in Massachusetts Bay to improve our understanding of cod spawning dynamics and inform fisheries management. Spawning was investigated in collaboration with commercial fishermen during three winter spawning seasons (October 2013–March 2016) using acoustic telemetry and passive acoustic monitoring equipment deployed in fixed-station arrays and mounted on mobile autonomous gliders. Tagged cod exhibited spawning site fidelity and spawning primarily occurred from early November through January with a mid-December peak and some inter-annual variability. The spatial distribution of spawning was generally consistent among years with multiple hotspots in areas >50 m depth. Current closures encompass most of spawning, but important areas are recommended for potential modifications. Utilizing multiple complementary technologies and deployment strategies in collaboration with commercial fishermen enabled a comprehensive description of spawning and provides a valuable model for future studies.
  • Article
    A decade of monitoring Atlantic cod Gadus morhua spawning aggregations in Massachusetts Bay using passive acoustics
    (Inter Research, 2020-02-06) Caiger, Paul E. ; Dean, Micah J. ; DeAngelis, Annamaria I. ; Hatch, Leila ; Rice, Aaron N. ; Stanley, Jenni A. ; Tholke, Chris ; Zemeckis, Douglas R. ; Van Parijs, Sofie M.
    Atlantic cod Gadus morhua populations in the northeast USA have failed to recover since major declines in the 1970s and 1990s. To rebuild these stocks, managers need reliable information on spawning dynamics in order to design and implement control measures; discovering cost-effective and non-invasive monitoring techniques is also favorable. Atlantic cod form dense, site-fidelic spawning aggregations during which they vocalize, permitting acoustic detection of their presence at such times. The objective of this study was to detect spawning activity of Atlantic cod using multiple fixed-station passive acoustic recorders to sample across Massachusetts Bay during the winter spawning period. A generalized linear modeling approach was used to investigate spatio-temporal trends of cod vocalizing over 10 consecutive winter spawning seasons (2007-2016), the longest such timeline of any passive acoustic monitoring of a fish species. The vocal activity of Atlantic cod was associated with diel, lunar, and seasonal cycles, with a higher probability of occurrence at night, during the full moon, and near the end of November. Following 2009 and 2010, there was a general decline in acoustic activity. Furthermore, the northwest corner of Stellwagen Bank was identified as an important spawning location. This project demonstrated the utility of passive acoustic monitoring in determining the presence of an acoustically active fish species, and provides valuable data for informing the management of this commercially, culturally, and ecologically important species.