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Aaron M. Thode
Full Research Scientist
Marine Physical Laboratory

Thode received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics and master’s degree in electrical engineering (specializing in antenna and radio propagation) concurrently in 1993 from Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps in 1999. He was a postdoctoral scholar in ocean engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1999-2001, before rejoining Scripps in 2002 as an Assistant Research Scientist.  In 2012 he was promoted to Full Research Scientist.

In 2005 Thode received the A. B. Wood Medal from the UK’s Institute of Acoustics, “for distinguished contributions in the application of acoustics.” In 2002 he received the Office of Naval Research’s Acoustic Entry-Level Faculty Award.  In 2008 he was elected a Fellow in the Acoustical Society of America, and in 2011 he was awarded the Medwin Prize in Acoustical Oceanography by the same society, recognizing “a person for the effective use of sound in the discovery and understanding of physical and biological parameters and processes in the sea”.

Thode’s recent research has covered the following topics: (1) demonstrating automated detection, classification, and tracking methods of migrating whales in the Beaufort Sea, in order to evaluate the potential impacts of oil exploration activity on the animals’ behavior during their Fall migration;  (2) using vertical arrays to localize whale sounds in range and depth from a single deployment, in both shallow and deep water; (3) studying sperm and killer whale depredation on longline fisheries in Alaska; and (4) studying the relationship between visual censuses and acoustic call detection rate for gray whales in the breeding lagoons of Mexico. 

Thode has served as the PhD thesis advisor for two students, and currently is supervising one student and one post-doc.  He has served as a reviewer for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Aquatic Mammals, and Marine Mammal Science, and is a member of the Acoustical Society of America, the Society of Marine Mammalogy, and the IEEE.  He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.