A collaboration between the Newport Aquarium and the University of Cincinnati is giving students a rare opportunity to get close enough to king penguins to study the bird’s vocalizations.
Pictured here are Jamie Buehler and Korissa Nesser, second-year audiology students in the College of Allied Health Sciences, and Ashley Leck, a fourth-year biological sciences major in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. They are standing in the aquarium’s penguin habitat with a hand-held digital recorder in order to later analyze sounds made by the aquarium’s penguin population, which includes two baby chicks.
"We are planning to develop a minimum audibility curve for both the penguin chicks and adult penguins as well as analyze the acoustical components of penguin vocalizations as they mature into adults,” says Peter Scheifele, PhD, who established the UC collaboration with the Newport Aquarium through his role as associate professor and director of the (CAHS) FETCH~LAB and the department of communication sciences and disorders.
This research and analysis, Scheifele says, will provide insight into how penguins communicate throughout their lifespans.