Kaitlyn Mullen is a marine mammal biologist turned engineer. Her work focuses on mitigating human impacts on baleen whales in a responsible manner, particularly discovering acoustic reasons for and solutions to baleen whale ship strike mortality. Kaitlyn also studies the acoustics of newly designed offshore wind and tidal energy projects, works with local lobsterman to reduce large whale gear entanglement and subsequent gear loss, and acts as a protected species mitigation specialist during seismic oil and gas exploration projects worldwide. Her research crosses many disciplines, combining marine mammal hearing, behavior, and habitat requirements with oceanography, acoustic propagation patterns, industrial noise assessments, and basic mechanical and electrical engineering to design new solutions to baleen whale ship strike mortality, fishing gear entanglement, and the effects of industrial noise pollution. Kaitlyn is invested in advocating local stakeholder collaboration, environmental assessments and local scientific observation of marine mammal behavior as integral components of developing and implementing new fishing and energy technology. She passionately believes integrating these features into technology design and gear regulation changes is an effective method for simultaneously reducing long-term unintended negative impacts on marine mammals and reducing post-deployment mitigation costs to industries and fishermen.
Kaitlyn loves to share the natural wonders of whale encounters and underwater acoustics. As a tour boat captain and naturalist, she has the opportunity to introduce thousands of interested viewers to humpback, finback, minke and North Atlantic right whales each year in the Gulf of Maine. She also presents research results at numerous national and international scientific meetings, and shares her knowledge of baleen whale behavior and acoustics with local community organizations, secondary schools, museums, and universities. Hands-on activities are her favorites; each year Kaitlyn donates time to make sure local middle school children get the chance to encounter seals, pelagic birds, and harbor porpoise in their own back yard.
Kaitlyn takes us to another level this year with "Songs in the Sea: the Evolving Intricacies of Humpback Whale Singing: Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. As we cannot guarantee being in the water with humpbacks, this field project will be done in a lab environment. With new software, you too can understand a spectrogram. Stay tuned for more details and locations.