University of Southern Mississippi psychology professor Dr. Stan Kuczaj’s research on dolphin cognition and behavior will be featured in an episode of NOVA, the science television show produced by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB)
“How Smart Are Dolphins?” is part of a NOVA series on animal intelligence that will include Kuczaj’s research on dolphin cognition and communication, as well as correlations between dolphin and human behavior. Kuczaj is director of the Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory, housed in the university’s College of Education and Psychology.
Kuczaj and a crew from NOVA spent spring break last year in Roatan, Honduras documenting the research group’s efforts to learn how two dolphins communicate when they are simultaneously producing novel behaviors. The NOVA crew also interviewed Kuczaj at length regarding his work on dolphin cognition.
Kuczaj and his graduate students in the laboratory have conducted more than 20 years of research on the popular marine mammal, which has received support from the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Commerce. His research in Honduras began five years ago through a study abroad program near Utila, sponsored by Southern Miss International Education.
More recently, his research on the rebound of the mammal’s habitat off the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina was published in Marine Mammal Science, and last summer his dolphin research was also featured in a show on Japanese public television in July 2010.
For more information on this program, online visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/how-smart-dolphins.html. For more information on the Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory, online visit http://www.usm.edu/psy-kuczaj/