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Whales on center stage in Newport

Leigh Torres, an assistant professor at the OSU Marine Mammal Institute, will discuss some of her recent work with gray whales along the Oregon Coast during the 10 a.m. Saturday [12/3/16] meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society in Newport, Oregon. The meeting will be at the Newport Public Library. Admission is free.

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MMI Hiring for Business Manager/Fiscal Coordinator

The Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University is currently hiring for a full-time Business Manager/Fiscal Coordinator at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. This position reports to and assists the Director, Associate Director, and Principal Investigators with the daily coordination and management of the Institute’s business and finance operations. To apply, please visit https://jobs.oregonstate.edu/ and search for position #P00896UF, or click on the link above. Closes December 14, 2016.

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Ari Friedlaender's whale tagging research featured in Nat Geo documentary

In March 2016, MMI Associate Professor Ari Friedlaender was joined by a National Geographic film crew in Antarctica. The incredible footage will premiere on Tuesday, November 15, on the National Geographic channel. Dr. Friedlaender’s research will be featured in all six episodes of the new documentary series, Continent 7. [VIDEO]

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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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Unique feeding habits of whales revealed

A new paper co-authored by Associate Professor Ari Friedlaender describes how blue and humpback whales control the timing of their feeding lunges to minimize energy cost and maximize prey capture.

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“Eve” and descendants shape global sperm whale population structure

Although sperm whales have not been driven to the brink of extinction as have some other whales, a new study has found a remarkable lack of diversity in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA within the species. In fact, the mitochondrial DNA from more than a thousand sperm whales examined during the past 15 years came from a single “Eve” sperm whale tens of thousands of years ago, the researchers say. Results of the study are being published this week in the journal Molecular Ecology. While the exact origins of this sperm whale “Eve” remain uncertain, the study shows the importance of her female descendants in shaping global population structure, according to Alana Alexander, a University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute researcher who conducted the study while a doctoral student at Oregon State University

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Report on January-February 2016 Blue Whale Field Season in New Zealand

The January-February 2016 Field Report on blue whale ecology in the South Taranaki Bight region of New Zealand is now available.

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Exclusive Video May Be First to Show Blue Whale Calf Nursing

National Geographic Explorer and marine ecologist Leigh Torres made the likely discovery of nursing while on a research cruise in the South Taranaki Bight off the western coast of New Zealand. On February 5, the Oregon State University professor got video that she thinks shows a mother blue whale and her calf nursing beneath the waves.

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