Carla Almonte

Animal behavior and cognition have always been extremely fascinating to me. In order to learn more about animal behavior one must employ complex thinking and innovative scientific techniques to determine the proximate and ultimate causation of a behavior. Although, I am interested in various behaviors, my main interest lies in communication. I strongly believe that having knowledge of the way an animal communicates is essential to understand a given species.

My research is focused on the vocal behaviors of the charismatic North American river otter. To date, there is extensive literature on their ecology, physiology and scent communication. However, there is a substantial gap in the scientific literature about the vocal communication system of the river otter.

My published research delineated the vocal repertoire of captive North American river otters. This research led to many discoveries about the form and function of their vocal system. It was also the first insight into how newborn pups vocally communicate with their mother. Currently, I am examining further the distinct calls that are present in newborn pups.

The main objective of my future research is to examine the vocals of wild river otters expressed during the mating season. In addition, to investigate how wild river otter pups vocally interact with their conspecifics.

Publications:
Almonte, C. 2011. The vocal repertoire of the North American river otter. AMBA Wellspring: 12: 42-46.
Almonte, C. 2014. Classification of captive North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) vocal repertoires: individual variations and age class comparisons. Animal Behavior and Cognition: 1(4): 502-517.

Contact Carla at
calmonte1215@mac.com
carla.almonte@ronininstitute.org