Style Bar
Style Bar

 

Picture of RH DeFranR.H. Defran is the Director of the Cetacean Behavior Laboratory at San Diego State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology with Dr. Pietro Badia at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1970 and has been a professor in the Psychology Department at San Diego State University since September 1970. Dr. Defran's research and teaching specialties are Animal Behavior and Research Methodology.

During the 1970's he carried out a number of research and instructional programs at Sea World in San Diego and at the Naval Undersea Center (now SPAWAR). His expertise at that time involved the adaptation of operant learning principles to the technology of behavioral training with marine mammals. In this context he taught training techniques to individual trainers at Sea World in San Diego and to Navy trainers in San Diego and in Hawaii; and assessed the training and feeding ecology of 11 cetacean species (Pepper and Defran 1972, Defran and Pryor 1990)

In late 1983 Defran accepted an offer from the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA to assume responsibility for an ongoing boat-based photo-identification project designed to assess the population size and range characteristics of bottlenose dolphins in north San Diego County (Hansen 1990). The Cetacean Behavior Laboratory (CBL) was formed at about this time in order to organize the research activities of Defran and his research colleagues. Since 1984 Defran has carried out and directed the CBL's expanding photo-identification, behavioral and acoustical research activities along the Southern California and Baja California Norte coastline, as well as in the Central American country of Belize (Defran et al. 1990, Hansen and Defran 1990, Wells et al. 1990, Hanson and Defran 1993,  Defran and Weller 1999, Defran et al. 1999, Campbell et al. 2002, Kerr et al. in press).

Most recently, Defran has joined the dolphin photo-identification and health assessment programs of the Division of Marine Mammal Research and Conservation at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Ft. Pierce, FL (Bossart et al. 2003, Bossart et al. 2004, Mazzoil et al. 2004, Mazzoil et al. in press, );  and the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research at Charleston, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Charleston, South Carolina (Zolman 2002), in the role of Scientific Advisor.

Literature Cited
Bossart, G. D., R. Meisner, R. Varela, M. Mazzoil, S. McCulloch, D. Kilpatrick, R. Friday, E. Murdoch, B. Mase, and R. H. Defran.  2003.  Pathologic findings in stranded Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) from the Indian River Lagoon, Florida.  Florida Scientist 66:226-238.

Bossart, G. D., R. Meisner, S. Rommel, J. Lightsey, R. Varela, R. H. Defran. 2004. Pathologic findings in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Aquatic Mammals 30:434-440.

Campbell, G. S., B. A. Bilgre and R. H. Defran.  2002. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Turneffe Atoll, Belize: occurrence, site fidelity, group size and abundance, Aquatic Mammals 28.2:170-180.

Campbell, G. S., R. C. Gisiner, D. A. Helweg, and L. L. Milette.  2002.  Acoustic identification of female Stellar sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 111:2920-2928.

Defran, R. H. and K. Pryor.  1980.  The behavior and training of cetaceans in captivity.  In Cetacean behavior: mechanisms and functions. Edited by  L.M. Herman.  Wiley and Sons, New York, NY. pp. 247-305.

Defran, R. H., G. M. Shultz and  D. W. Weller.  1990.  A technique for the photographic identification and cataloging of dorsal fins of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).  Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 12):53-55.

Defran, R. H. and D. W. Weller.  1999.  Occurrence, distribution, site fidelity, and school size of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off San Diego, California.  Marine Mammal Science 15:366-380.

Defran, R. H., D. W. Weller, D. L. Kelly, and M. A. Espinosa.  1999.  Range characteristics of Pacific coast bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Southern California Bight. Marine Mammal Science 15:381-393.

Hansen, L.J.  1990.  California coastal bottlenose dolphins.  Pages 403-420 In S. Leatherwood and R. R. Reeves, eds.  The bottlenose dolphin.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Hansen, L. J. and  R. H. Defran.  1990.  A comparison of photo-identification studies of California coastal bottlenose dolphins.  Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 12):101-104.

Hanson, M. T. and R. H. Defran.  1993.  The behavior and ecology of Pacific coast bottlenose dolphins.  Aquatic Mammals 193:127-142.

Kerr, K., R. H. Defran, and G. Campbell. 2005. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Drowned Cayes, Belize: group size, site fidelity and abundance. Caribbean Journal of Science 41:172-177

Mazzoil, M., S. D. McCulloch, R. H. Defran and E. Murdoch.  2004.  The use of digital photography and analysis for dorsal fin photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins.  Aquatic Mammals 30:209-219.

Mazzoil, M., S. D. McCulloch, R. H. Defran. 2005. Observations on the site fidelity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida. Florida Scientist 68:217-227

Pepper, R. L. and R. H. Defran. 1975.  Dolphin Trainers Handbook. Naval Undersea Center Technical Report, #432, 51 pages.  San Diego, CA.

Wells, R. S., L. J. Hansen, A. Baldridge, T. Dohl, D. L. Kelly and  R. H. Defran.  1990.  Northward extension of the range of bottlenose dolphins along the California coast. In  The bottlenose dolphin.  Edited by  S. Leatherwood and  R. R. Reeves.   Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, CA.  pp. 421-431.

Zolman, E. 2002.  Residence patterns of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Stono River estuary, Charleston County, South Carolina.  Marine Mammal Science 18:879-892.

CBL Home