Advisory Board

Dr. Diana Reiss

Diana Reiss, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology, Hunter College.
Diana earned her Ph.D. in Speech and Communication Science from Temple University and is an internationally recognized researcher in animal cognition and communication. In 1982, she developed a laboratory at Marine World in California, where she investigated the nature of dolphin communication and cognitive abilities.
Her research focuses on marine mammal cognition and communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution of intelligence. Her past work includes cognitive studies with interactive keyboards with dolphins to investigate their learning and communicative abilities, research in mirror self-recognition in marine mammals, marine mammal vocal repertoires and vocal and behavioral development in dolphins. Her work also involves the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals. She was one of the scientists instrumental in the campaign to protect dolphins from being killed in tuna nets that resulted in the labeling of “dolphin safe” tuna.
Diana’s work has been published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters and has been featured in many television science programs, included Nature, National Geographic, Wild Kingdom, the Today Show and several BBC nature shows.
Diana authored Secrets of the Dolphins, and coauthored Self-recognition in an Asian elephant, The fallacy of ‘signature whistles’ in bottlenose dolphins: a comparative perspective of ‘signature information’ in animal vocalizations, Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence, Cetaceans Have Complex Brains for Complex Cognition, Whistle contour development in captive-born infant bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Role of learning, and Mother-infant spatial relations in captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus.
Read Whistles with Dolphins, Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human persons’, and Recall of the Wild; Fighting Boredom, Zoos Play to the Inmates’ Instincts.