Professor of Biology and Psychology
Janet Mann, Vice Provost for Research (2013-2017) and Professor of Biology and Psychology at Georgetown University, earned her Sc.B at Brown University and her M.S. and PhD at The University of Michigan with expertise is in the field of animal behavior. Since 1988 her work has focused on social networks, female reproduction, calf development, life history, conservation, tool-use, social learning and culture among bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia. Her long-term study ”The Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project”, tracks over 1800 dolphins throughout their lives and includes an international team on three continents where scientists focus on different aspects of delphinid biology. In 2015, she initiated the first study of wild bottlenose dolphin in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. This work was featured on the PBS Outdoors Maryland special in 2018 https://video.mpt.tv/video/episode-3102-ehuwnl/ (new window).
Mann has published over 120 scientific papers in journals such as NatureCommunications, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Conservation, and Animal Behaviour and in books such as The Question Animal Culture, The Biology of Traditions, Rational Animals, and Primates and Cetaceans: Field Research and Conservation of Complex Mammalian Societies. She is editor and co-author on Deep Thinkers: Inside the minds of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, published in 2017 with University of Chicago Press. Her edited volume, Cetacean Societies (University of Chicago Press, 2000), received several awards.
Twice she was a fellow at The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In 2012 she spoke at the The Royal Society and gave a plenary lecture at The American Psychological Association meeting. Since 1997, her research has been supported continuously by the National Science Foundation, but she has also received funding from a range of foundations and government agencies nationally and internationally. Professor Mann’s research has received considerable media attention worldwide, including a BBC Documentary ”The Dolphins of Shark Bay” focusing on her work in 2011.
In 2013, Pamela Turner published a children’s book ”The Dolphins of Shark Bay” (Houghton Mifflin) about Professor Mann’s research as part of her ‘scientists in the field’ series. She frequently interviews with the New York Times, National Geographic, public television stations and on National Public Radio.
Professor Mann has taught diverse courses for Biology and Psychology, including The Brain and Evolution of Behavior, Animal Behavior, Monkeys, Apes and Humans, and Human Evolution and Behavior. She has several graduate students in the Department of Biology and mentors undergraduate students from several majors in their senior and honors theses. Over 120 students have received awards and fellowships in her lab and she regularly publishes with undergraduate and graduate students. Each year, several students accompany Professor Mann to Shark Bay, Australia to conduct field research. They also assist from April to October in the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project (pcdolphinproject.org (new window)). She received two mentoring awards (DC metro area and national) in recognition of her deep commitment to undergraduate education.