Denise Herzing has spent almost three decades researching and communicating with wild dolphins in their natural setting and on their own terms. The book "Dolphin Diaries" tells her remarkable story.

Why you should listen

What better way to study an animal than in its natural habitat? Since 1985, Denise Herzing has been doing just that, spending each summer observing a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins that live in the Bahamas as part of the Wild Dolphin Project. The work allows Herzing to better understand the pod's social structure, behavior, communication and habitat outside the confines of an aquarium or research facility.
 
Perhaps most remarkable is Herzing’s collaborative effort to design, build and use an interactive device to let humans communicate with the free-ranging dolphins. The 2011 book Dolphin Diaries tells her remarkable story.

What others say

“On certain moonlit nights along the Bahamas coral reefs, you may see Denise gracefully swimming her way out to sea.” — Ralph Helfer, Dolphin Diaries

Denise Herzing’s TED talk

Denise Herzing on the TED Blog
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Science

Talking with animals: 7 examples of interspecies communication

June 6, 2013

Dolphins are “natural acousticians,” according to marine mammal behavioral biologist Denise Herzing. Individuals have signature whistles, just as we have names, and they can also send buzzes and tickles across long distances to physically signal one another. Echolocation clicks help them navigate in the water, and they erupt in bursts of squawks during fights. They […]

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Quoted: Denise Herzing on communicating with extraterrestrials

February 28, 2013

Denise Herzing has spent more than 25 years studying dolphins in the wild, living each summer on a boat in the Bahamas for better access to our finned friends in their natural habitat. Today, in Session 8, she shared her work in using an interactive device to communicate with the dolphins — and let them […]

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Science

The language of dolphins: Denise Herzing at TED2013

February 28, 2013

A dolphin’s brain-to-body-weight ratio is second only to a human’s. They live complex social lives, can understand abstract concepts and even use tools. But as Denise Herzing asks in Session 8 of TED2013, “Do they have a language? If so, what are they talking about?” For 28 years, Herzing has been researching dolphins in the wild, spending five […]

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