Advancing marine science and conservation through innovative and engaged research

The GEMM Lab focuses on the ecology, behavior, health, and conservation of marine megafauna including cetaceans, pinnipeds, seabirds, and sharks.

We aim to fill knowledge gaps about species ecology, health and distribution patterns so that conservation efforts can be more directed and effective at reducing space-use conflicts with human activities.

We work closely with partners and stakeholders to fully understand issues and needs, and prioritize communication of our work and findings through a variety of formal and informal outlets.

Our research is diverse and global. Please explore our exciting projects, amazing team, and active blog.


GEMM Lab DEI statement

The GEMM Lab is committed to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) within our research group, Oregon State University, and the marine mammal and STEM fields. We promote a culture of anti-racism, transparency, and acceptance that we strive for by encouraging open communication, broad perspectives, and challenging conversations. While we recognize that our DEI efforts will always be a work-in-progress, our commitment includes the following activities:

  • DEI discussion at many monthly GEMM Lab meeting, often stemming from assigned readings, podcasts, or thought-provoking activity (alternates with discussions about professional development and scientific careers). 
  • Inclusion of funding for paid internships in proposal budgets.
  • Paid internships in the GEMM Lab for high school students from local and rural Oregon coastal communities. 
  • Promotion of papers and presentations by scientist from under-represented groups.
  • Intentional outreach of our science communication to diverse stakeholder groups through multiple formal and informal outlets.
  • Thoughtful mentorship, including near-peer mentoring and cohort development.
  • Striving for lab membership to be composed of people with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences to enhance our work and impact on marine conservation.

Dr. Leigh Torres explored her ideas on the relationships between ecology and social justice in a blog post written during the 2020 summer after the murder of George Floyd. If you are interested in joining the GEMM Lab, please read Dr. Torres' letter to prospective graduate students found here.