Denise L. Herzing

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Denise L. Herzing is the founder and Research Director of the Wild Dolphin Project,[1] a non-profit which funds the study of the natural behaviors and communication of Atlantic spotted dolphins in the wild.[2]

Herzing has earned her Ph. D. in Behavioral Biology/Environmental Studies, her M. A. in Behavioral Biology, and her B. S. in Marine Zoology[3]

Her ultimate aim is to achieve two-way communication with dolphins. She hopes to use a wearable underwater computer to record and make dolphin sounds. The computer aims to create synthesized dolphin sounds that can be established between sound and object, so the hope is for dolphins to imitate the sound in order to make requests from people.[4]

Herzing has contributed extensively to the field of dolphin intelligence and communication. Among these contributions, she has recorded observations of dolphins expressing teaching behaviors.[5] She also worked as part of a team that developed a new camera/hydrophone system which allows researchers to identify which dolphin on a recording made which sound. This device pairs a video camera with three hydrophones, recordings from the device can be used to assess the directionality of a sound moving through water.[6] Due to her expertise in studying dolphin intelligence, Herzing has described a method for unbiased quantification of nonhuman intelligence which can be applied to other animals as well as dolphins.[7]


  1. ^ "Wild Dolphin Project". Wild Dolphin Project. 
  2. ^ Herzing, Denise (2011). Dolphin Diaries: My 25 Years with Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0312-60896-5. 
  3. ^ "Our Team". The Wild Dolphin Project. Retrieved 2018-06-07. 
  4. ^ Olsen, Erik (2011-09-19). "A Dolphin Study Seeks to Start a Two-Way Conversation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  5. ^ Bender, C. E., Hersing, D. L., Bjorklund, D. F. 2008. Evidence of teaching in atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) by mother dolphins foraging in the presence of their calves. Anim Cogn.
  6. ^ Hoffmann-Kuhnt, M., Herzing, D., Ho, A., Chitre, M. A. 2016. Whose sound is it anyway? Identifying the vocalizer on underwater video by localizing with a hydrophone array. Animal Behavior and Cognition. 3(4): 288-298.
  7. ^ Herzing, Denise (2014). "Profiling nonhuman intelligence: An exercise in developing unbiased tools for describing other "types" of intelligence on earth". Acta Astronautica. 94: 676–680 – via Elsevier. 

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