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Stanton, Timothy Scientist Emeritus, Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering


I study the physics of the acoustical scattering by complex objects. The research has been principally focused on acoustic scattering by marine organisms, such as zooplankton and fish, although I have also studied acoustic scattering by the seafloor, sea ice, and microstructure. In order to address the complexities of this important topic, I develop analytical physics-based models, conduct laboratory experiments, and conduct at-sea experiments. The complexity lies in the fact that the acoustic "targets" are normally quite irregular in shape. Consider, for example, euphausiids that have the shape of shrimp, or pteropods that have the shape of a snail. Exact mathematical models of scattering normally involve a simple shape such as a sphere or infinitely long cylinder. However, predictions of scattering by such simple objects sometimes deviate significantly from the scattering by the actual irregular objects. My research is therefore focused on developing accurate (approximate) scattering models by realistic objects. Given the challenges associated with modeling realistic objects, I keep the development of the models grounded with laboratory data. In collaboration with biologists, I apply the models to data collected at sea where acoustics is used as one of the tools for characterizing distributions of marine life.

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