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Research Projects

A blue whale surfacing

Documentation and protection of a blue whale foraging ground in NZ

The GEMM Lab led a research expedition in January 2014 that collected observational, behavioral, and oceanographic data to prove the existence of a blue whale foraging ground in the South Taranaki Bight in New Zealand.

California sea lions resting on an ocean buoy

Distribution of marine mammals off the Oregon coast relative to marine renewable energies

GEMM Lab graduate students will be combining passive-acoustic and visual surveys to effectively monitor marine mammals in Newport, Oregon’s near shore waters. 

A colony of rockhopper penguins

Distribution and habitat use patterns of New Zealand albatross, petrels, and penguins

The GEMM Lab is collaborating with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research to understand the distribution and foraging ecology of New Zealand seabirds. 

An albatross flying

Documentation of fisheries overlap and behavioral impacts on New Zealand albatross

The GEMM Lab works closely with colleagues in New Zealand (NIWA) to improve our understanding of seabird-fishery interactions. 

Three smartphone screens: start a trip, visualize your trip, record observations

Assessment of citizen science collected via Whale mAPP Android app

GEMM Lab graduate students are producinga a citizen science version of Whale mAPP, GIS-based web and mobile tools, to allow citizen scientists to collect observations of marine mammals.

An elephant seal swimming with a telemetry device on top of its head

Habitat use patterns of New Zealand sea lions, southern elephant seals and great white sharks

The GEMM Lab is working to improve understanding of the habitat use patterns of great white sharks, New Zealand sea lions, and southern elephant seals. 

Gray whale surfacingDistribution and habitat-use patterns of the Pacific Coast Feeding Aggregation of gray whales in Oregon

GEMM Lab graduate students will examine the individual-based habitat use and distribution patterns of gray whales along the Oregon coast.

Maui's dolphins swimming at surface of waterIndividual-based fine-scale analysis of Maui’s dolphin habitat use

The GEMM Lab is working with colleagues in Auckland and New Zealand to collect individual sightings data using survey and photo-ID methods to address the conservation of critically endangered Maui's dolphins of New Zealand.

Hector's dolphins swimmingEvaluation of sub-population models of Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins

Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are endemic to New Zealand and are listed as endangered, with their primary threat from bycatch in setnet and trawl fisheries. The GEMM lab has undertaken a study to generate species distribution models of these dolphins. 

A southern right whale leaping out of the waterPopulation and ecology of southern right whales at Campbell Island

A field team will spend a month on remote Campbell Island in winter 2014 to collect distribution data, photo-ID data, and tissue biopsy samples from the rarely studied southern right whale population.

Whale feeding at surface of water surrounded by birdsBryde’s whales, prey and vessel distribution in the Hauraki Gulf, NZ

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Auckland, a research project is underway to understand the population size of Bryde’s whales and their foraging and habitat use ecology within the Hauraki Gulf.

Killer whale swimming with a fish in its mouthEcology of Type-C killer whales in the Ross Sea, Antarctica

The GEMM Lab has been collaborating with colleagues in New Zealand to collect ecological data on the Type-C killer whale in the Ross Sea needed to better inform fisheries management.