Dr. Diana Reiss is a cognitive psychologist, marine mammal scientist, and Professor in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College, CUNY and the Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology Doctoral program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a research associate at the National Aquarium where she directs a research program investigating dolphin cognition and communication in addition to being a research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in DC where she investigates elephant cognition.
Dr. Reiss and her students also conduct field studies on communication and behavior in wild dolphins in Bimini and Belize. Research focuses on dolphin cognition, communication, comparative animal cognition, and the evolution of intelligence. Dr. Reiss pioneered the use of underwater keyboards with dolphins to investigate their cognitive and communicative abilities and to provide them with more degrees of choice and control. She and her colleagues demonstrated that bottlenose dolphins and an Asian elephants possess the rare ability for mirror self-recognition previously thought to be restricted to humans and great apes.
Involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals including the successful rescue of the renowned Humphrey the humpback whale in the San Francisco Bay waters, Dr. Reiss' advocacy work in conservation and animal welfare have focused on the protection of dolphins in the tuna-fishing industry and bringing an end to the killing of dolphins in the drive hunts in Japan that were exposed in Oscar winning film The Cove.
Dr. Reiss’s work has been featured in hundreds of articles in international and national journals, science magazines, television segments and features, and newspaper articles. Her book The Dolphin in the Mirror was released in the fall 2011.
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