Ron with Rocky, the California sea lion.
 

Ron is a Marine Biologist Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Ocean Sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Professor Emeritus at California State University at Hayward. He was educated at Brooklyn College and then Florida State University, where he was mentored by Winthrop Kellogg and introduced to the study of chimpanzees and dolphins. Ron took his first research position at the original Yerkes Laboratory of Primate Behavior in Orange Park, Florida, where he investigated the cognitive and social behavior of chimpanzees, gibbons, and monkeys. In 1963, he moved to the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in order to develop the first laboratory in North America primarily devoted to the study of the behavior and sensory physiology of pinnipeds. At SRI, Ron helped to debunk the notion that pinnipeds echolocated like dolphins and bats, and embarked on a research program dealing with vision and hearing in pinnipeds. Ron and his sea lions relocated to the Ecological Field Station at California State University at Hayward in 1971, where Ron served as a professor Psychology and Biology and he and his sea lions began working on an ambitious research program involving a gestural artificial sign language. In 1985, Ron made his last move, and settled his program at the University of California's Long Marine Laboratory. At LML, which is located in Santa Cruz, Schusterman continues to explore the sensory systems, perception, cognition, and communication of marine mammals in lab and field studies.

Ron is a founding member of the Society for Marine Mammalogy and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, Acoustical Society of America, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to the time he spends at LML, Ron regularly spends time writing and teaching at other institutions - most recently at Columbia University, the Aquarium for Wildlife Conservation in New York, and the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Altenberg, Austria.

Ron is extremely proud of the students he has been associated with over the past forty years and still actively mentors a small group of graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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