Andrea Ottensmeyer


Hello!  I am currently a Master's student in the Whitehead Lab at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
If you explore these pages, you'll discover that I am studying the social structure of long-finned pilot whales off northern Cape Breton Island.  I am originally from Toronto, Canada, but have been lucky enough to have been travelling lately -- to Maui, Hawaii and northern Chile. Interested in the work or the pictures?  Drop me a line!

Master's thesis (in progress: 1999-2001)

The Social Organization of Long-Finned Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas, of northern Cape Breton, Canada

Research Objective:

To characterize the social structure of the long-finned pilot whales which utilize St. Lawrence Bay in the summer months by:

    i) quantifying the size and variability of spatio-temporal aggregations of pilot whales

    ii) testing the association patterns between individuals against random expectations

    iii) testing the rate of persistence of associations over time against random and fitting a model of social relationships to the observed temporal pattern

    iv) testing whether known long term associates have different association patterns in the short term with each other than they have with short term associates.

Educational Background

1999-present. Master's of Biology (in progress). Whitehead Lab. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

1995-1999. Honours in Marine Biology (First-class honours, minor in statistics). Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Scholarships / Awards

1999-2001. Isaac Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship (Honorary).
1999-2001. NSERC Post-graduate Scholarship (Master's level).
1999. Governor General's Silver Medal, Dalhousie University
1999. Marine Biology Medal, Dalhousie University
1999. David Durward Memorial Prize
1998. Hugh P. Bell Scholarship in Biology
1998. Laing Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship
1996-1999. Fessenden-Trott Scholarship
1996. B'nai B'rith Prize
1996. J.G. MacGregor Memorial Prize
1995-1999. Dalhousie Renewable Entrance Scholarship
1994. Duke of Edinburgh's Young Canadian's Challenge, Silver Level

Publications (non-peer reviewed)

Ottensmeyer, A. 2000. The fascinations of watching whales. Neuschottländer Bote (Nova Scotian Messenger), 5(1).

Ottensmeyer, C.A. 1999. Pilot whale parties: A study of the social structure of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, using photo-identification techniques. Honours thesis, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Poster Presentation

Ottensmeyer, C.A. 1999. Social structure of long-finned pilot whales using photo-identification techniques. 13th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Oral Presentations (*denotes presenter)

*Ottensmeyer, C.A. Their ocean too: natural history and conservation of the cetaceans of atlantic Canada. Coastal Zone 2000 Youth Forum, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, September 2000. (Invited speaker)

*Ottensmeyer, C.A.  Pilot whale parties: A study of the social structure of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, using photo-identification techniques. Atlantic Universities Undergraduate Biology Conference, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, April 1999.

Ottensmeyer, C.A. and *D.A. Jackson. Fish communities of the experimental lakes area. Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research. Kingston, Ontario, Canada, January 1998.

Relevant Practical Experience

November 2000: Field assistant aboard the yacht Balaena during studies of sperm whales off the coast of northern Chile. Work included photographic, genetic and acoustic sampling.

1998-2000: Primary researcher studying social structure of long-finned pilot whales. Study based in northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in conjunction with Captain Cox's Whale Watch, Bay St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia.

May-September 1997: Field assistant and summer student in studies of freshwater fish communities in southern Ontario, Canada.  Work included tagging and measuring fish, and multivariate statistical analysis of ecological data. Supervisor: Donald A. Jackson, Department of Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Mailing address:
Department of Biology
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4J1 Canada
Return to Dalhousie Whale Research Last Updated January 27, 2001 by Andrea Ottensmeyer