Marie-Ana Mikus
Cetacean Conservation Research Program Technician

Marie-Ana is a research technician for the Raincoast Cetacean Conservation Research program. She holds a MSc Degree in Animal behavior from the University of Rennes (France) where she studied small-clawed otter acoustic communication. She has extensive experience in behavioral and acoustic field data collection and acoustic analysis of animal sounds, particularly cetaceans. Since 2016, she has assisted with the collection and acoustic analysis of field recordings of beluga whales from Cunningham Inlet (Canadian High Arctic), the Churchill River Estuary and the St. Lawrence River Estuary, and has been involved on studies of killer whale acoustics and underwater noise impacts on cetaceans.

As a field technician, Marie-Ana is experienced with the deployment and troubleshooting of digital hydrophones, a competent small-boat handler, and a certified drone pilot.

Peer reviewed publications

Aubin, J. A., Mikus, M.-A., Michaud, R., Mennill, D., & Vergara, V. (2023). Fly with care: belugas show evasive responses to low altitude drone flights. Marine Mammal Science, 1– 22. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12997

Vergara, V., Wood, J., Lesage, V., Ames, A., Mikus, M.A. and Michaud, R., 2021. Can you hear me? Impacts of underwater noise on communication space of adult, sub-adult and calf contact calls of endangered St. Lawrence belugas (Delphinapterus leucas). Polar Research, 40, 5521.  https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v40.5521

Vergara, V. and Mikus, M.A., 2019. Contact call diversity in natural beluga entrapments in an Arctic estuary: Preliminary evidence of vocal signatures in wild belugas. Marine Mammal Science, 35(2), pp.434-465. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12538

Lemasson, A., Mikus, M.A., Blois-Heulin, C. and Lodé, T., 2014. Vocal repertoire, individual acoustic distinctiveness, and social networks in a group of captive Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinerea). Journal of Mammalogy, 95(1), pp.128-139

Lemasson, A., Mikus, M.A., Blois-Heulin, C. and Lodé, T., 2013. Social partner discrimination based on sounds and scents in Asian small-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus). Naturwissenschaften, 100(3), pp.275-279

Recent articles

Erin Wall standing on a boat with beautiful mountains in the background holding a large camera.

Meet Dr. Erin Wall, a new Postdoctoral Fellow with Raincoast

Erin recently joined Raincoast’s Cetacean team as a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellow in collaboration with the North Coast Cetacean Society and the University of Windsor.  Erin’s project, “Singing to be…

Overhead photo of four killer whales swimming together.

Guide government actions on Southern Resident killer whale recovery: Take the federal survey before February 12, 2024 

Each year since 2019, the Canadian federal government has put seasonal measures in place to reduce the threats to endangered Southern Resident killer whales. The measures are intended to create…

Beluga popping its head out of the water looking at the camera from the side.

“I say potato, you say potahto”: Geographic variation in contact calls of Canadian beluga whales

Many species of birds and mammals exhibit intraspecific acoustic geographic variation in their vocalizations. This occurs when populations are separated by some distance and do not have a chance to…

Overhead photo of a humpback whale surfacing.

The lives and language of whales

As scientists, the questions we ask are designed to improve our efforts to ensure good living conditions for these mammals (their habitat) and improve their resilience in the face of…