Vanessa ZoBell

PhD Student

While receiving her B.S. degree in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology from the University of California, Davis, Vanessa discovered her passion for conservation biology and acoustics while partaking in acoustic research with birds, geckos, whales, and pinnipeds.

Today, Vanessa ZoBell is PhD student with the Scripps Whale Acoustics Lab. Vanessa’s work focuses on quantifying noise pollution produced from commercial shipping in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Vanessa works with the Channel Islands sanctuary staff to investigate how to best reduce ship noise in underwater soundscapes, protecting the marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates that rely on sound for communication and foraging.

When she’s not analyzing spectrograms with SWAL, you can find Vanessa hiking, baking, or doing yoga.

I am interested in quantifying increases in anthropogenic noise in underwater soundscapes and investigating the impacts of human-made noise on fish, invertebrates, and marine mammals that rely on sound for navigating, foraging, and communication.
When I was young, I would read books about dolphins and whales and was fascinated by their strong, emotional behavior and familial bonds. I decided to pursue a PhD with the Scripps Whale Acoustics Lab because I wanted to learn how we can protect these species, and the ocean as a whole.


  • B.S. Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, UC Davis