Little is known about the long-term effects of environmental changes on coastal dolphin populations. This question is significant in the light of coastal marine habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. During this presentation, we will explore the home range, social structure, habitat use, and diet of a resident population of bottlenose dolphins in Biscayne Bay, a heavily impacted waterway that has experienced significant habitat degradation over the past decades.
Jessica Carde's academic background includes a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and a Master’s in Marine Conservation & Policy from Stony Brook University, and a Doctorate in Marine Ecology from Florida International University. Her dissertation research focused on coastal dolphin behavior and ecology in response to anthropogenic threats and climate change. In collaboration with The NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center, her project investigated the impacts of disturbances and environmental changes on the habitat use, behavior and distribution of resident bottlenose dolphins within Biscayne Bay. Jessica is continuing her research through FIU to further elucidate the behaviors and habitat use of this population and assess exposure to other potential risks, such as boating activity, contaminants, and noise pollution.