Eric Angel Ramos

Eric Angel Ramos
The Rockefeller University | Rockefeller · Magnasco Laboratory

Doctor of Philosophy
Investigating the behavior of octopuses and marine mammals.

About

65
Publications
21,680
Reads
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227
Citations
Introduction
Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Rockefeller University. Scientist at Fundación Internacional para la Naturaleza y la Sustentabilidad. My research concerns the behavioral ecology and conservation of marine mammals, and now some octopuses.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - September 2019
CUNY Graduate Center
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Animal Behavior & Comparative Psychology
February 2011 - present
City University of New York - Hunter College
Position
  • Belize Bottlenose Dolphin Project
Education
August 2014 - April 2020
CUNY Graduate Center
Field of study
  • Psychology - Animal Behavior & Comparative Psychology
August 2010 - August 2013
City University of New York - Hunter College
Field of study
  • Animal Behavior & Conservation
August 2005 - May 2009
The University of Arizona
Field of study
  • Psychology/ Italian

Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Vocal production learning is the ability to modify a vocal output in response to auditory experience. It is essential for human speech production and language acquisition. Vocal learning evolved independently several times in vertebrates, indicating evolutionary pressure in favor of this trait. This enables cross-species comparative analysis to be...
Article
Full-text available
Assessments of individual animal health alerts to early signs of population level effects in wildlife but often rely on logistically complex wild animal captures, hindering our understanding of the wellbeing of populations in regions with limited resources. Here, we tested photogrammetry methods using small aerial drones for accurate morphometric m...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the body condition of wild animals is necessary to monitor the health of the population and is critical to defining a framework for conservation actions. Body condition indices (BCIs) are a non-invasive and relatively simple means to assess the health of individual animals, useful for addressing a wide variety of ecological, behavioral, a...
Article
Full-text available
Lay abstract: Bottlenose dolphins display diverse feeding behaviors. Here, we report mud ring feeding behaviors by bottlenose dolphins in an estuary shared between Belize and Mexico. We detected four mud ring feeding events in boat- and aerial-based observations. In visual searches of Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, we detected mud ri...
Article
Full-text available
SummaryInfanticidal behavior (i.e., the intentional killing of young) is common in the animal kingdom. Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) engage extensively in intraspecific agonistic behaviors, and infanticidal behavior has been documented in many dolphin populations. However, these behaviors remain poorly understood in dolphins as de...
Presentation
Full-text available
Sleep is a fundamental biological process in animals. Identifying correlates between vertebrate and invertebrate sleep facilitates the development of robust definitions for behavioral sleep needed to understand how sleep evolved in distantly related organisms. Cephalopods are cognitively complex animals that display alternating patterns of sleep st...
Article
Full-text available
Documenting marine mammal strandings provides important information needed to understand the occurrence and distribution patterns of species. Here, we report on strandings of cetaceans on the Pacific ( n = 11) and Caribbean ( n = 2) coasts of Nicaragua, documented opportunistically from 2014 to 2021. Strandings included three species of baleen whal...
Thesis
Full-text available
Marine mammals inhabit aquatic worlds where their subsurface behavior, cryptic surface profiles, and movements make them difficult to study. New tools are needed to study coastal marine mammals in a world increasing impacted by climate change related shifts in weather and animal distribution patterns. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are important rem...
Article
Full-text available
Even among the understudied sirenians, African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis) are a poorly understood, elusive, and vulnerable species that is difficult to detect. We used passive acoustic monitoring in the first effort to acoustically detect African manatees and provide the first characterization of their vocalizations. Within two 3-day period...
Article
Full-text available
West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) are separated into two allopatric subspecies: the Florida manatee (T. m. latirostris) and the Antillean manatee (T. m. manatus). In the winter of 2020-2021, an adult manatee was sighted off the coast of Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico, in areas where Antillean manatees are not typically seen. The individual ha...
Article
Full-text available
Context. Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are powerful tools for wildlife research. Identifying the impacts of these systems on target species during operations is essential to reduce risks of disturbance to wildlife, to minimise bias in behavioural data, and to establish better practices for their use. Aims. We evaluated the responses of captiv...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We provide new information of the spatial and temporal distribution, as well as natural history of the killer whale in the Caribbean Sea, on the basis of 332 records.
Article
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Understanding predator-prey relationships is critical in ecology, but relatively challenging when investigating elusive marine megafauna. In this study, we document the presence of shark-inflicted injuries on coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Mesoamerican Reef System using photo-identification methods. We analyzed data from a...
Article
Full-text available
Food sharing is common in the animal kingdom, but rarely reported in marine mammals since it is challenging to observe their feeding behaviors in the wild. Here, we describe food sharing by rough-toothed dolphins, an open ocean dolphin species, off the southwestern coast of Mexico. We observed two dolphins exchanging a fish back and forth during a...
Article
Full-text available
Baseline data on the distribution and occurrence of marine mammals are needed to better understand their role in marine ecosystems and to protect them from the negative impacts of climate change and human activity. Here, we report the results of vessel-based surveys to document marine mammals throughout the territorial waters of Belize in the Weste...
Article
Full-text available
In this Short Communication, we document the stranding of a pregnant dwarf sperm whale on the southeastern coast of the island of Utila in Honduras.
Article
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of the Bocas del Toro archipelago are targeted by the largest boat-based cetacean watching operation in Panama. Tourism is concentrated in Dolphin Bay, home to a population of resident dolphins. Previous studies have shown that tour boats elicit short-term changes in dolphin behavior and communication; howev...
Article
Full-text available
We report the northernmost records to date of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales migrating from the Antarctica Peninsula to the Pacific coast of Nicaragua during the austral winter. From 2015 to 2018, data from opportunistic sightings of humpback whales were gathered during boat trips in Nicaragua, crowd-sourced through local citizen science effor...
Article
Full-text available
Population assessments and species monitoring for many endangered marine megafauna are limited by the challenges of identifying and tracking individuals that live underwater in remote and sometimes inaccessible areas. Manatees can acquire scarrings from watercraft injury and other incidences that can be used to identify individuals. Here we describ...
Article
Full-text available
Antillean manatees produce vocalizations reported to be important for communication, but their vocal behavior throughout their geographic range is poorly understood. A SoundTrap recorder (sample rates: 288/576 kHz) was deployed in Belize to record vocalizations of wild manatees in a seagrass channel and of a young rehabilitated and released manatee...
Presentation
Full-text available
Body condition index (BCI) is an important morphometric measure for monitoring the health status of sirenians. The capture and handling of wild manatees enables accurate body measurements but are invasive, expensive and logistically challenging. We tested the use of small drones to remotely collect morphometric data from captive Antillean manatees...
Presentation
Full-text available
Manatees can acquire permanent scarrings from watercraft injury and other incidences that can be used to photo-identify individuals over time and space. Small drones are affordable and practical platforms to study and monitor wildlife. We propose a novel method for photo-ID of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) using aerial imagery cap...
Poster
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The discovery of Nicaragua as a feeding stopover for migrating humpback whales could indicate it represents a previously undocumented feeding site or that whales are seeking new feeding sites.
Poster
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The vocal repertoire of the antillean manatees in Mexico and their association with different behaviors is largely unknown. We try to identify and classify the vocal repertoire of a captive population of manatees in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It was evidenced that the presence of environmental noise, sounds of other animals in captivity, anthropogenic s...
Poster
Full-text available
In-depth marine mammal survey work has never been conducted before in Guerrero, SW Pacific Mexico and no official protection or monitoring measures are in place. We conjectured that humpback whales found off of Mainland Mexico include two distinct population segments, classified as threatened and endangered. In order to contribute to a clearer char...
Poster
Full-text available
Marine mammal watching is becoming an important non-consumptive use of wild megafauna in Mexico, mainly in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. Here, we present the first report of watching tourism targeting dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in the Mexican Caribbean (SKRB). We applied 64 semi-structured interviews t...
Poster
Marine mammals sometimes develop complex feeding behaviors driven by prey availability in their habitats and the capacity for social learning. Bottlenose dolphins display diverse foraging tactics, oftentimes involving complex series of learned behaviors. Rarely have the same strategies been detected in geographically distinct populations. Mud ring...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Sian Ka’an Complex (SKC) is a relevant refuge for Caribbean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Quintana Roo, Mexico, due to the availability of high quality habitats for manatee feeding and calving. However, the recent increase of tourism affluence has raised concerns on the fate of this manatee population. We started a long-term monitori...
Article
Full-text available
Dolphins of the genus Stenella occur in pelagic waters of both tropical and warm-temperate oceans. Three species, the Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), the pantropical spotted dolphin (S. attenuata), and the spinner dolphin (S. longirostris) are abundant worldwide, but in the Caribbean Basin they have been poorly studied and informatio...
Presentation
Full-text available
Manatees Trichechus manatus manatus occupying the Caribbean coast of Mexico (Mx) and the entire coast of Belize (Bz) belong to the same sub-population, and mortality analysis must be conducted on a regional scale. Here, we updated the review of manatee mortality cases reported between 2008 and 2018 along the Caribbean coast of Mexico and in Belize...
Article
Full-text available
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are powerful tools for research and monitoring of wildlife. However, the effects of these systems on most marine mammals are largely unknown, preventing the establishment of guidelines that will minimize animal disturbance. In this study, we evaluated the behavioral responses of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops tr...
Article
Full-text available
Lobomycosis and lobomycosis-like diseases (LLD) (also: paracoccidioidomycosis) are chronic cutaneous infections that affect Delphinidae in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. In the Americas, these diseases have been relatively well-described, but gaps still exist in our understanding of their distribution across the continent. Here we repo...
Poster
Full-text available
Drones are important tools for a wide array of applications in scientific research and monitoring with marine mammals. Few studies have examined if different crafts and systems affect the behavior of animals, or attempted to identify factors influencing the probability of these responses or their subsequent effects. Some published studies on effect...
Poster
Full-text available
El manatí antillano (Trichechus manatus manatus) se encuentra en peligro de extinción y es protegido por la legislación internacional y mexicana. La especie es el mamífero marino más común del Caribe mexicano, en donde se estima una población de aproximadamente 250 individuos. Sin embargo, los censos de la población son esporádicos, debido al alto...
Article
Full-text available
Characterizing species occurrence, abundance, and distribution is critical to the management of natu- ral resources and the conservation of biodiversity. In the Western Caribbean, little information exists on the occurrence of aquatic mammals along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System and adja- cent aquatic ecosystems. Herein, we present the first...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve (TAMR) in Belize faces negative impacts from habitat degradation, overfishing, and anthropogenic noise. Understanding the factors that influence changes in Turneffe dolphin communication is urgent for local conservation planning. Here we investigate the influenc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) possess a large repertoire of acoustic calls and depend on sound for activities critical to their survival. The use of sound during feeding and foraging is commonly reported in dolphins, however, the emission of distinct calls related to foraging behavior has been reported in only a few populations. We obser...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Antillean manatees Trichechus manatus manatus are found along coastal habitats throughout the Caribbean Sea and Antilles. Turneffe Atoll (TA), located approximately 35km from mainland Belize, is the only atoll in the world where manatees have been reported. Manatee monitoring in TA started in 2001, conducted by the Oceanic Society (OS) in collabora...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins possess a wide repertoire of vocalizations and depend on sound for activities critical to their survival. The use of foraging-related calls has been reported but evidence for their use in most regions is absent. We observed the production of a distinct call that we termed “thrums” and conducted a study to investigate their acous...