Albatross Fine-scale overlap between North Pacific Albatrosses and fishing vessels

High-seas fisheries are often considered the wild-west: out of sight and out of control. How, when and where albatrosses interact with fishing vessels in these regions is unknown, leaving a significant knowledge gap regarding their bycatch risk.

Mouth open whale Application of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, “drones”) to assess whale body condition and behaviors

From our traditional boat-based horizontal perspective, cetacean behavioral observations are typically limited to when the animal is at the surface, and health assessment is constrained to photographs captured of this limited body view.

Cetacean use of sensory systems Cetacean use of sensory systems in foraging ecology

Much of how whales and dolphins find food remains a mystery to scientists. These animals are equipped with multiple sensory systems that are well-developed for use in the marine environment – sight, sound, touch, smell, and biomagnetism - but each sense’s ability to increase feeding opportunities depends on the distance to the target, called ‘the scale’.

bottlenose dolphin Comparative health assessment of bottlenose dolphin ecotypes off California

This project aims to better comprehend common bottlenose dolphin population health off the coast of California. The marine ecosystem off of California is highly productive and home to a diversity of cetacean species.

Blue Whales in New Zealand Ecology of blue whales in New Zealand

The GEMM Lab has been studying blue whales in New Zealand since Dr. Leigh Torres first hypothesized the existence of an undocumented foraging ground in the South Taranaki Bight in 2013.

Gray whale breaches in the front of the Yaquina Lighthouse, Newport, OR, US Evaluation of gray whale hormone and body condition variation, with response to variable ambient ocean noise conditions

Cetaceans are acoustically active, dependent on, and sensitive to the surrounding soundscape. Therefore, understanding the scales, intensities and types of impacts from ocean noise on their ecology and populations is a critical step toward improved management and protection.

Sea Otters Evaluation of sea otter reintroduction to the Oregon coast

Sea otters were once abundant along the entire west coast of the United States, including Oregon - according to historical hunting records, tribal archives, and archaeological findings. However, due to unsustainable and intense hunting pressure from fur traders, sea otters were pronounced locally extinct in the early 1900’s.

Foraging ecology of gray whales

Linking predator-prey interactions is a favorite topic among ecologists, but can be expensive and challenging to accomplish at fine scales, particularly in shallow waters that limit traditional prey mapping methods. The Pacific Coast Feeding Group of gray whales forages in the Oregon near-shore environment, making them accessible for study with creative, low budget technology.

map of whale location Habitat assessment of humpback whale breeding grounds in New Caledonia, with predictive model development for the Oceania region

Humpback whales visiting the New Caledonian breeding grounds have been subject to a long term monitoring program since 1993 thanks to the efforts of Dr Garrigue, senior researcher at the Institute of Research for Development and scientific advisor to the local Opération Cétacés NGO.

Local students Integrating local students into coastal ecology research

This project builds on the success of the Gray Whale Foraging Ecology Project of 2016 by adding in a new and exciting community engagement component.

plotting data Residence in Space and Time (RST): A new and simple way to classify behavior states in movement data

Large animal movement datasets are increasingly common (see or and there is a need for efficient methods of data exploration that adjust to the individual variability of each track.