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 to understand how those species 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 genomes 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

MMI scientists present at Sharing the Coast conference

The Marine Mammal Institute will be well represented at this year's Sharing the Coast Conference in Waldport, OR. Leigh Torres will be providing the keynote address at 6:30 pm, Friday, March 3, 2017. Dr. Torres will discuss the latest in research into the lives of gray whales and other marine megafauna inhabiting our coastal waters and ways in which citizens can help scientists monitor whale populations. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, March 4, Jim Rice, coordinator of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network, will give an overview of the state’s marine mammal populations and explain how citizens can engage in tracking these populations through reporting stranded animals, alive or dead. The theme of the conference is citizen science.

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Whale lovers can support Marine Mammal Institute with new license plate

A new license plate featuring a gray whale and her calf likely will be available to Oregon drivers by summer 2017. This project is sponsored by the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute and enthusiasm for it is running high, said Bruce Mate, director of the institute. “Everybody I’ve shown the plate design to has loved it,” said Mate, whose institute will receive $35 from the Oregon Department of Transportation every time a vehicle owner spends $40 to buy the plate. The money will go toward whale research, graduate student education and public outreach. The institute needs to turn in an “expression of interest” from at least 3,000 vehicle owners stating they plan to buy the plate.

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New tag revolutionizes whale research -- and makes them partners in science

A sophisticated new type of tag on whales that can record data every second for hours, days, and weeks at a time provides a view of whale behavior, biology and travels never before possible, scientists from the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University reported today in a new study. This “Advanced Dive Behavior,” or ADB tag, has allowed researchers to expand their knowledge of whale ecology to areas deep beneath the sea, over thousands of miles of travel, and outline their interaction with the prey they depend upon for food. It has even turned whales into scientific colleagues to help understand ocean conditions and climate change.

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