Fellowship / Fellows

Eduardo Mercado III

  • 2023–2024
  • Biological Sciences
  • Grass Fellow
  • University at Buffalo
Portrait of Eduardo Mercado III
Photo by Kevin Grady/Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Eduardo Mercado III is a behavioral neuroscientist, cognitive psychologist, and bioacoustician at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York (UB). His research focuses on understanding how brain plasticity contributes to learning, perception, and mental capacity.

At Radcliffe, Mercado is building on his discoveries about the nature, functions, and plasticity of whale songs. The Singers as Sentinels project combines sophisticated analyses of humpback whales recorded singing near Hawaiʻi and Colombia—geared toward identifying the ways that singers modify their songs in different contexts—with a broader effort to raise public awareness of how human activities are increasingly affecting the lives of whales. The outreach component of the project will focus on developing a scientific trade book, titled “Why Whales Sing and Dolphins Don’t,” that explains the likely functions of whale songs and why singing whales may be especially sensitive to noise pollution.

Mercado’s research has been supported by National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and featured in Animal Cognition, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. The Association for Psychological Science and Google have supported his efforts to expand the diversity of STEM researchers. A 2009–2010 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, Mercado directs the Center for Cognitive Science at UB and has authored two textbooks, Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior (Worth Publishers, 2020) and Principles of Cognitive Psychology: Finding Minds (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).

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