Alum Jeanne Shearer: Lead Author of New Study on Beaked Whales
Submitted on February 17, 2019
Georgetown College alumni end up doing amazing work in all kinds of wonderful locations. Few in recent history have a more fun story than Jeanne Shearer, though, a 2012 graduate who is the lead author on a study of Cuvier’s beaked whales that was just featured in the New York Times.
The study, as explained by the Times, focuses on these mysterious whales, who can dive farther and stay underwater longer than any other marine mammal. Shearer, who is now a doctoral student at the Duke University Marine Lab, was the lead author on the study, which tagged 11 Cuvier’s beaked whales for an extended period of time.
Biologists do not know very much about beaked whales because they do not cooperate well with normal study patterns. They are able to dive to unbelievable depths, and spend very little time on the surface. Over the course of the study, they were able to record nearly 6,000 dives, vastly expanding our knowledge of these wonderful creatures.