SSU Fisheries
Dr. Tara Cox PDF Print E-mail






Dr. Cox's Page


Ph.D. Ecology, Duke University; M.E.M. Coastal Environmental Management, Duke University

Research Interests

Spatial ecology and conservation biology of long-lived marine vertebrates.  Marine and coastal policy and management.  Human interactions with marine mammals

Current Projects

 1) Human-interaction behaviors (especially begging) of common bottlenose dolphins in the Savannah, Georgia area -- quantification, spatial distribution, causes, and policy solutions. Many students are involved in this project and try to find new and modern solutions for known problems. Sometimes they do not have enough time and inspiration to study the theoretical material, the results of previous scientific acquisitions, so they often buy sociology papers via

2) Stock structure and abundance estimates of common bottlenose dolphins in the waters around Savannah, GA.

3) in collaboration with SkIO -- characterizing the microbiome in the spleen of common bottlenose dolphins.


Number of Graduate Students

Supervised: 9

Graduate Student:  Jessica Thompson

     Program Start Date: 1/2013

Graduate Student: Kevin McKenzie

     Program Start Date: 08/2011



Organizations/Meetings Attended

Scientific Program Chair, 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Society for Marine Mammalogy, Tampa, FL. (November 2009 - December 2011).

Session Chair, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium, Virginia Beach, VA. (March 2010).

Invited Speaker, Georgia Association of Marine Educators, Jekyll Island, GA. (September 2013).

Funding Sources

Georgia DNRNational Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
U.S. Department of Education -- Title VII


Selected Publications

Kovacs, C., Curran, M.C., and Cox, T.M. (in press). Where's that dolphin? Using bottlenose dolphin sightings to study spatial patterns. The Science Teacher.

Kovacs, C., and Cox, T.M. (in press). Quantification of interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and a commercial shrimp trawler.  Aquatic Mammals.

Kovacs, C., Curran, M.C., Cox, T.M. (2013).   Using mathematics to conduct social analyses of bottlenose dolphins in science classrooms. Science Scope 36:52-60.

R. L. Lewison, Soykan, C. U., Cox, T. M., Peckham, H., Pilcher, N., LeBoeuf, N., McDonald, S., Moore, J., Safina, C., Crowder, L. B. (2011). Ingredients for addressing the challenges of fisheries bycatch. Bulletin of Marine Science 87(2): 235-250.

Bowen, S., Cox, T. M., Curran, C. (2011)  What are bottlenose dolphins doing on land? An activity teaching the scientific method through the unique behavior of strand feeding. The American Biology Teacher 73(7): 407-411.

Cox, T. M., Lewison, R. L., Zydelis, R., Crowder, L. B., Safina, C., Read, A. J. (2007). Comparing effectiveness of experimental and implemented bycatch reduction measures: the ideal and the real. Conservation Biology 21(5): 1155-1164.

Cox, T.M., T.J. Ragen, A.J. Read, E.E. Vos, and 32 others.  (2007). Understanding the impacts of anthropogenic sound on beaked whales.  Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 7(3): 177-187

Cox, T.M. and A.J. Read.  (2004). Echolocation behavior of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) around chemically enhanced gillnets.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 279: 275-282.

Cox, T.M., A.J. Read, D. Swanner, K. Urian, and D. Waples.  (2004). Behavioral responses of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to gillnets and acoustic alarms.  Biological Conservation 115:203-212.

Cox, T.M., A.J. Read, A. Solow, and N. Tregenza.  (2001). Will harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) habituate to pingers?  Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 3(1):81-86.


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