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

Study finds local fidelity key to ocean-wide recovery of humpback whales

Humpback whales can migrate thousands of miles to reach feeding grounds each year, but a new study concludes that their fidelity to certain local habitats – as passed on through the generations – and the protection of these habitats are key to understanding the ultimate recovery of this endangered species. The study documents the local recruitment of whales in Glacier Bay and Icy Strait in Alaska over a 30-year period. The researchers found that contemporary whales that utilize these rich feeding grounds overwhelmingly are descendants of whales that previously used the area. Results of the study are being published this week in the journal Endangered Species Research.

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New app features Ari Friedlaender's Antarctic research

WWF has created a unique multi-media and interactive app that engages people about the current state of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.  It is replete with sections dedicated to sharing stories and reports on Antarctic science and conservation in action. One section, "whale research above and below the ice," tells about Ari Friedlaender’s work in Antarctica to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding minke whales and how these poorly known whales survive in a changing environment.

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New technologies – and a dash of whale poop – help scientists monitor whale health

A lot of people think what Leigh Torres has done this summer and fall would qualify her for a spot on one of those “World’s Worst Jobs” lists. After all, the Oregon State University marine ecologist follows gray whales from a small inflatable boat in the rugged Pacific Ocean and waits for them to, well, poop. Then she and her colleagues have about 20-30 seconds to swoop in behind the animal with a fine mesh net and scoop up some of the prized material before it drifts to the ocean floor.

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