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

Blue whale research begins off the Taranaki Coast

Research on the world's largest animal has begun off the coast of Taranaki. Blue whales are being studied by a team from Oregon State University (OSU) in collaboration with the Department of Conservation to try to find out if the species use the South Taranaki Bight as a feeding ground. The survey comes after OSU marine mammal expert Leigh Torres led a team of researchers who observed dozens of blue whales feeding about 100km off the coast south of New Plymouth in 2014. "We want to know when and where the blue whales occur in the South Taranaki Bight, as well as how many blue whales use this area as a foraging ground," Torres said.

Read Article

Blue whale survey begins off Taranaki coast

An international research team, working in collaboration with the Department of Conservation (DOC), has begun work on an extended survey to learn more about blue whales feeding in the South Taranaki Bight off the Taranaki coast. The research covers an area of the Tasman Sea between Cape Egmont and Farewell Spit and is led by Oregon State University marine mammal expert Dr. Leigh Torres. The research, led by Oregon State University, will be conducted over a three year period with support from the Aotearoa Foundation, a private foundation, in collaboration with DOC.

Read Article

Cloquet grad heads out on a whale of an adventure

Now a graduate student at Oregon State University pursuing a master’s degree in OSU’s fisheries and wildlife program, Pallin is working with Dr. Ari Friedlaender in the Marine Mammal Institute at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. In Antarctica, he will be stationed at Palmer Station, one of the three United States research stations located in Antarctica.

Read Article