Date & Time: Thursday, November 06, 2014, 16:00-17:00.
Venue: Ramanujan Hall

Title: Estimating the Sperm Whale Population Density in the Gulf of Mexico to Study the Effect of British Petroleum Oil Spill

Speaker: Nabendu Pal, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Abstract: There has been a lot of interest in the Gulf of Mexico (USA) marine biology due to the disastrous British Petroleum (BP)'s Deep Horizon Oil Rig explosion on April 20, 2010, and subsequent oil spill for nearly five months. Attention has been focused on studying marine creatures to see how the oil spill has affected the surrounding ecosystem. As a part of this investigation, we looked into the passive acoustic data obtained by submerged sensors to estimate certain marine mammal populations, particularly sperm whales and beaked whales. The acoustic data obtained after the oil spill is used to estimate the population density of each species, and then compared with those available from the historical data. In this talk, we will discuss the estimation method along with the model assumptions.