Marine Mammal Institute

The OSU Marine Mammal Institute is a multi-disciplinary facility incorporating the work of academics from Engineering, Genetics, Agriculture, Aquatics, Ecology, Veterinary Medicine, Biology, and Communications. As the only institute of its kind, the Marine Mammal Institute combines the efforts of top researchers from around the world to continue the legacy of discovery and preservation of critical habitats of target species and understanding how they interact with their environment and human activities.

Whale Telemetry Group

Whale Telemetry Group (WTG)

Using satellite-monitored radio tags to determine the distribution and critical habitats of endangered whales.

Cetacean Conservation Genetics Lab

Cetacean Conservation and Genomics Laboratory (CCGL)

Exploring the genome of whales and dolphins to understand the past, assess the present and conserve the future.

Pinniped Ecology Applied Research Lab

Pinniped Ecology Applied Research Laboratory (PEARL)

Ecology, behavioral physiology, and conservation biology of pinnipeds.

Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN)

Documenting occurrences and investigating the causes of marine mammal strandings in Oregon.

News and Events

PhD student Dori Dick presents geneGIS at Esri User Conference

OSU PhD student Dori Dick’s presentation last week (July 16, 2014) to the Esri User Conference in San Diego was well received. Dori introduced geneGIS, a suite of computational tools for analyzing the spatial distribution and genetic relatedness of whales and dolphins. The development of the geneGIS toolbox for ArcGIS was funded by an Office of Naval Research grant to MMI associate director, Scott Baker, and Esri chief scientist, Dawn Wright. A description of the tools has now been published in the journal Transactions in GIS.

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15-year analysis of blue whale range off California finds conflict with shipping lanes

A new paper by Ladd Irvine and other MMI researchers finds that the favored feeding areas of endangered blue whales along the US West Coast are crossed by heavily used shipping lanes. The paper, which was published today in PLoS ONE, notes that moving the shipping lanes off Los Angeles and San Francisco slightly could significantly decrease the probability of ships striking the whales. The analysis is the most comprehensive study of blue whales' movements ever conducted.

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Experts Concerned by Japan's Talk of Scientific Whaling

Scott Baker, associate director of Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Institute, agreed. "The often disreputable behavior of the whaling industry in the past, and some whaling nations today, does not inspire much confidence in a good faith return to commercial whaling," he said.

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