About Our Logo

Georgia Dolphin Ecology Program logo

What Does It Mean?

In August 2018, GDEP released its new logo, pictured above. The logo depicts a breaching dolphin made up of nodes in a dolphin social network atop a location marker, like those you may have seen in many mapping applications, symbolic of our location-based photo-identification study methods. And, of course, our acronym and program name. In dolphin research, a social network map illustrates the interactions and relationships among dolphins, each represented by a circular node. The network map enables us to visualize groups of dolphins. By observing interactions among members we can identify groupings of dolphins based on the frequency (strength) of their associations and make inferences about the social structure of our study population. In social network maps, highly social dolphins (high association scores) are represented by a large node, while dolphins with lower association scores are shown as smaller nodes. While the graphic in our logo is simply an artistic rendering of a social network, many marine mammal scientists use social network maps in their research as a way to understand population dynamics. One of GDEP’s future objectives is to construct a detailed social network map of our resident dolphin population.