Join us at the River Center for our monthly lecture series!
Our April speaker is Hayley Knapp, Master Student at Florida Atlantic University
Can you identify individuals in a wild dolphin population? Yes, you can! Over the last 40 years, The Wild Dolphin Project (WDP)––founded by Dr. Denise Herzing–– has studied Atlantic Spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in the Bahamas, focusing its research on understanding their behavior, ecology, life-history, and acoustics. Through rigorous photo identification methods and a hands-off approach, the WDP has been able to develop a unique, respectful relationship with the Spotted dolphins living in the Bahamas. The project even knows the individuals by name! Their current graduate student, Hayley Knapp, is a masters student at Florida Atlantic University and is working on tracing paternity and genetic diversity by using fecal DNA to match calves to their parents. This is just one area of research the WDP focuses on. Join us in learning about the Wild Dolphin Project as we hear about the exciting research they are doing and how Hayley’s research ties in!
Born and raised in Wichita, KS, Hayley fell in love with dolphins when she was four years old after her first trip to SeaWorld. Having grown up sailing and swimming, she has always loved the water and knew she had to be a strong swimmer to work with dolphins in the future. So, she became a competitive swimmer and competed for William Jewell College, where she received her B.A. in biology and a minor in Spanish in 2020. Despite being landlocked, Hayley found ways to work with various wildlife in college, from walking dogs at a local pet shelter to volunteering with the adorable penguins at the Kansas City Zoo. Hayley first heard about the Wild Dolphin Project in 2012 after watching Dr. Herzing’s TED talk “Could We Speak the Language of Dolphins?” At the time, Hayley was in middle school, but she knew she wanted to be a part of the amazing team involved in Dr. Herzing’s research. In 2019, that dream became a reality when she received a grant from Jewell to intern with the Wild Dolphin Project and had a blast learning about wild dolphins. Hayley returned for a second internship in 2021 and returned as a crew member in 2022. Now, Hayley is a master’s student at Florida Atlantic University for the WDP, where she is studying dolphin genetics, such as paternity, with Dr. Green. In her spare time, Hayley enjoys various water sports, reading, and coaching young swimmers.
Registration is required to attend.
This event is not recommended for children under the age of 14.