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Dana Cusano

Dana Cusano

Dana Cusano

Pronouns: She/her
Research Assistant Professor





Ph.D., University of Queensland (2021)

M.Res., University of St. Andrews (2010)

B.A., Canisius College (2007)

Social/Academic Links

Biographic Overview

Dana Cusano is a bioacoustician and behavioral ecologist whose research focuses primarily on the acoustic behavior of marine mammals. Her interests include the use of vocal signaling in animals and the link between vocalizations and behavior. Specifically, she is interested in the social interactions between individuals and how arousal may be reflected in acoustic signals. Past research has also centered on investigating the movement of animals in response to anthropogenic disturbance with the use of animal movement models.

Currently, Dana’s research involves studying the acoustic and movement behavior of sei whales, North Atlantic right whales, and humpback whales with the use of biologging tags.

Research Interests

Behavioral ecology, bioacoustics, animal movement modelling

Research Specializations

Acoustic and behavioral ecology of marine mammals; information content of animal vocal signals; animal movement models


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary


Cusano, D.A., Wiley, D., Zeh, J.M., Kerr, I., Pensarosa, A., Zadra, C., Shorter, K.A. and Parks, S.E., 2023. Acoustic recording tags provide insight into the springtime acoustic behavior of sei whales in Massachusetts Bay. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 154, 3543-3555.

Cusano, D.A., Paton, D.J., Noad, M.J., Dunlop, R.A. 2021. Socially-complex breeding interactions in humpback

whales are mediated using a complex acoustic repertoire. Frontiers in Marine Mammal Science 8: 665186.

Cusano, D.A., Noad, M.J., Dunlop, R.A. 2021. Fuzzy clustering as a tool to differentiate between discrete and

graded call types. JASA Express Letters 1: 061201.

Cusano, D.A., Indeck, K.L., Noad, M.J., Dunlop, R.A. 2020. Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) social

call production reflects both motivational state and arousal. Bioacoustics 31(1): 17-40.

Parks, S.E., Cusano, D.A., Van Parijs, S.M., Nowacek, D.P. 2019. Evidence for acoustic crypsis in communication

by right whale mother-calf pairs on the calving grounds. Biology Letters 15: 1-6.

Parks, S.E., Cusano, D.A., Van Parijs, S.M., Nowacek, D.P. 2019. North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena

glacialis) acoustic behavior on the calving grounds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 146: EL15-21.

Cusano, D.A., Conger, L.A., Van Parijs, S.M., Parks, S.E. 2018. Implementing conservation measures for the

North Atlantic right whale: considering the behavioral ontogeny of mother-calf pairs. Animal Conservation 22:


Honors and Awards

Graduate Scholarship, Australian American Association

Career Development Scholarship, University of Queensland

International Scholarship, University of Queensland

Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Ecological Society of Australia