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Bradley Vanston

Research Assistant

Bradley grew up near the ocean with a fascination for all its inhabitants. She went on her first whale watching tour with Monterey Bay Whale Watch as a child and has a distinct memory of a Blue Whale fluking up during the outing, which left a lasting impression. Throughout her late teens and early adulthood she became fascinated with elephants because of their striking social intelligence, particularly their ritualistic mourning behaviors. Bradley is interested in the nexus of communication, mourning, empathy, and social dynamics, and their relationship to a creature’s perception of the external world. Orcas’ advanced social dynamics and culture, as well as their use of echolocation to navigate the underwater ecosystem (from which humans came), made them an optimal model for studying modes of communication, connection, and perception that are arguably lost in modern human societies.

 

She began work in 2019 as a research assistant under the supervision of Nancy Black and Colleen Talty at Monterey Bay Whale Watch, which solidified her interest in this field of study and these incredible mammals!