Five College Consortium

Social complexity in dolphins

Wed, Feb 28 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Franklin Patterson Hall West Lecture Hall

Join Hampshire's Marine Mammal class for the lecture "Social complexity in dolphins" by internationally renowned researcher Dr. Janet Mann, of Georgetown University. Dr. Mann is a Professor of Biology and Psychology, and served as Vice Provost for Research from 2013-2017 at Georgetown. She is also the director of the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project and the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project.  This lecture is co-sponsored by Hampshire College's School of Cognitive Science and the Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences Program.

Mann's work focuses on social networks, female reproduction, calf development, life history, conservation, tool-use, social learning and culture among bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia. Her long-term study "The Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project", tracks over 1600 dolphins throughout their lives and includes an international team on three continents where scientists focus on different aspects of delphinid biology. Her research has been supported for more than two decades by the National Science Foundation, and she has also received funding from a range of foundations and government agencies nationally and internationally. Professor Mann's research has received considerable media attention worldwide, including a BBC Documentary "The Dolphins of Shark Bay" focusing on her work in 2011. In 2015, she initiated the first study of wild bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Mann has published over 100 scientific papers and book chapters. She is editor and co-author on Deep Thinkers: Inside the minds of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, published in 2017 with University of Chicago Press; a limited number of copies of this book will be available for purchase. 

Mann has taught diverse courses for Biology and Psychology at Georgetown, including The Brain and Evolution of Behavior, Animal Behavior, Monkeys, Apes and Humans, and Human Evolution and Behavior. She has several graduate students in the Department of Biology and mentors undergraduate students from several majors in their senior and honors theses. Over 120 students have received awards and fellowships in her lab and she regularly publishes with undergraduate and graduate students. Each year, several students accompany Professor Mann to Shark Bay, Australia to conduct field research. They also assist from April to October in the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project ( 

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