Project O.R.C.A cannot be done alone. There are many scientists, volunteers and people behind the scenes helping to contribute to this research project. Here are just a few for you to meet.

Bec Wellard

Bec Wellard has been working with marine mammals for the past 10 years and is an avid conservation scientist, naturalist, cetacean nerd and ocean adventurer.

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Bec Wellard has over 10 years experience in studying marine megafauna and has been involved in numerous research projects both in Australia and worldwide. Her main research interests are bioacoustics, cognitive behaviour and applied ecology and conservation. She has worked on numerous projects focusing on genetics, population ecology, bioacoustics and anthropogenic effects on cetaceans.

Bec commenced her PhD with the Centre for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University in 2015. Her PhD project aims to improve our understanding of the killer whale population in the Australian region by using non-invasive techniques such as mark-recapture photo ID and passive acoustic monitoring. The project aims to establish a photo-ID catalogue of Australian killer whales alongside a call repertoire catalogue. She aims to look at potential geographic variation in the bioacoustics of the Australian killer whales, along with characterising the environment of killer whale habitat, including the underwater soundscape, and investigate any potential anthropogenic impacts. By using passive acoustic monitoring she aims to determine distribution and habitat usage of killer whales in Australian waters.

To read more about Bec’s history as a marine biologist and how she ended up there, you can read a recent blog here:


Christine Erbe

Christine has worked in marine mammal bioacoustics, call repertoires, sound propagation, underwater noise and its impacts on marine mammals for 23 years, ever since her PhD on the masking of beluga whale communication by ship noise at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

With a background in physics and geophysics, Christine hasc-erbe-v3 worked in government (underwater noise research & regulation, Fisheries & Oceans Canada) and industry (environmental consulting; enjoying several years as Director of JASCO Australia), and recently moved back into academia as Director of the Centre for Marine Science & Technology at Curtin University. Christine’s a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Chair of the Animal Bioacoustics Technical Committee of the Acoustical Society of America, Co-Chair of the international conference series on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life, and the Australian Government representative on the International Standardization Organization (ISO) working group on standardising underwater noise measurements of vessels.




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  1. Christianna - October 27, 2015 at 8:52 pm Reply

    Hi Bec! I am so excited to have found your blog studying orcas and acoustics. Orca vocalizations are so fascinating. I was wondering if you ever have undergrads assist you in you projects? Have a great day!

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