Orange Alert

Susan E. Parks

Susan E. Parks

Susan E. Parks



258 Life Sciences Complex
Office: 315.443.4007


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2003)
  • B.A., Cornell University (1998)

Social/Academic Links

Research Interests

Behavioral ecology, acoustic communication, marine science, conservation biology.

Research Spotlight

whale breaching

Research in the Parks lab focuses on the ecology and evolution of acoustic signaling. Diverse research topics in the lab span the fields of behavioral ecology, bioacoustics, biological oceanography, and conservation biology. Current projects in the lab involve studies of marine and terrestrial animals ranging from observational studies characterizing the acoustic behavior of species to experimental studies investigating behavioral functions of sounds and the impacts of noise on communication.

Selected Publications

  • Why whales are big but not bigger: Physiological drivers and ecological limits in the age of ocean giants, Susan E. Parks and 20 others, Science, 13 Dec 2019, Vol 366, Issue 6471, pp. 1367-1372, DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9044
  • Root-Gutteridge, H., Cusano, D.A., Shiu, Y., Nowacek, D.P., Van Parijs, S.M., Parks, S.E. (2018). A lifetime of changing calls: North Atlantic right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, refine call production as they age. Animal Behaviour, 137, 21-34.
  • Petraccione, J., Root-Gutteridge, H., Cusano, D., Parks, S.E. (2017). Exploring the early social affiliations and behaviour of a captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) calf. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research. 5(3), 131-136.
  • Risch, D., & Parks, S. E. (2017). Biodiversity Assessment and Environmental Monitoring in Freshwater and Marine Biomes using Ecoacoustics. Farina, A. and Gage, S. eds., Ecoacoustics: The Ecological Role of Sounds, Wiley, p 145-168.
  • Matthews,L.P., Parks, S.E., Fournet, M.E.H, Gabriele,C.M., Womble, J.N., Klinck, H. (2017). Source levels and call parameters of harbor seal breeding vocalizations near a terrestrial haulout site in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters, 141(3), EL274-EL280.
  • Dombroski, J. R. G., Parks, S.E., Groch, K. R., Flores, P. A. C., and Sousa-Lima, R. S. (2016). Vocalizations produced by southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) mother-calf pairs in a calving ground off Brazil. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 140, 1850-1857.
  • Blair, H., Merchant, N., Friedlaender, A., Wiley, D.N., Parks, S.E. (2016). Evidence for ship noise impacts on humpback whale foraging behavior. Biology Letters.
  • Cusano, D. A., Matthews, L. P., Grapstein, E., & Parks, S. E. (2016). Effects of Increasing Temperature on Acoustic Advertisement in the Tettigoniidae. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 25(1), 39-47.
  • Tennessen, J.B., Parks, S.E., Tennessen, T.P., Langkilde, T.L. (2016). Raising a racket: invasive species compete acoustically with native treefrogs. Animal Behaviour, 114: 53-61.
  • Parks, S.E., Cusano, D.A., Stimpert, A.K., Weinrich, M.T., Friedlaender, A.S., Wiley, D.N. (2014). Evidence for acoustic communication among bottom foraging humpback whales. Scientific Reports 4: 7508.
  • Parks, S.E., Miksis-Olds, J.L., Denes, S.L. (2014). Assessing marine ecosystem acoustic diversity across ocean basins. Ecological Informatics 21: 81-88.
  • Hotchkin, C., Parks, S. (2013). The Lombard effect and other noise-induced vocal modifications: insight from mammalian communication systems. Biological Reviews 88(4): 809-824.
  • Rolland, R.M., Parks, S.E., Hunt, K.E., Castellote, M., Corkeron, P.J., Nowacek, D.P., Wasser, S.K., Kraus, S.D. (2012) Evidence that ship noise increases stress in right whales. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online before print Feb. 8 2012.
  • Parks, S.E., Warren, J.D., Stamieszkin, K., Mayo, C.A., Wiley, D. (2012). Dangerous dining: surface foraging of North Atlantic right whales increases risk of vessel collisions. Biology Letters 8: 57-60.
  • Parks, S.E., Johnson, M., Nowacek, D., Tyack P.L. (2010) Individual right whales call louder in increased environmental noise. Biology Letters. vol. 7(1), 33-35.
  • Van Parijs, S., Clark, C. W., Sousa-Lima, R. S., Parks, S. E., Rankin, S., Risch, D. & Van Opzeeland, I. C. 2009. Management and research applications of real time and archival passive acoustic sensors over varying temporal and spatial scales. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 395, 21-36.
Caller ID of the Sea

(March 15, 2024)

Syracuse University biologists use a novel method of simultaneous acoustic tagging to gain insights into the link between whale communication and behavior.

Hidden in Plain Sight: A&S Biologists Say Southern Right Whale Habitat Choice is Key to Keeping Young Calves Safe

(May 26, 2022)

Whale mothers choose nursery sites in shallow waters where predators cannot “eavesdrop” on communication between a mother and her young.

Underwater Rock Concert

(April 8, 2020)

A&S alumna studies communication behavior of harbor seals in Alaska.

Prestigious Grant Supports Ph.D. Student’s Whale Research

(Oct. 9, 2019)

Biology graduate student Julia Zeh receives highly competitive National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship

Hush, Little Baby: Mother Right Whales “Whisper” to Calves

(Oct. 8, 2019)

North Atlantic right whales, a species severely threatened by human activity.

Biologists Gain New Insights into Surface, Acoustic Behaviors of Endangered Right Whales

(Oct. 24, 2018)

Professor Susan Parks says better protective measures begin with understanding whales' behavioral ecology

Voices from the Deep

(Feb. 22, 2018)

Former Syracuse Postdoc underlines the changing voices of the North Atlantic right whale

Biology Professor Named to National Academy of Sciences Committee

(April 7, 2017)

Professor Susan Parks will add her voice to the discussions concerning the nation’s offshore energy resources