Headshot of Daniel Palacios

Endowed Associate Professor in Whale Habitats, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

Office: ‭(541) 867-0266‬

Profile Field Tabs

NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, NOAA/SWFSC/Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory, 2003–2004
Ph.D., Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2003
B.Sc., Marine Biology, University of Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá, Colombia, 1994
Research/Career Interests: 
  • Quantitative ecology & habitat modeling
  • Analysis and visualization of telemetry and bio-logging data
  • Characterization of critical habitat for large whales
  • Study of long-distance migration and navigation in whales

Dr. Daniel Palacios is the lead of the Whale Habitat, Ecology & Telemetry (WHET) Lab (formerly the Whale Telemetry Group founded by Dr. Bruce Mate in 1983) at the Marine Mammal Institute. At the WHET Lab we work on the development, advancement, and application of electronic tag technologies for studying whales. We use telemetry and bio-logging as tools to improve our understanding of foraging ecology, migration and movement patterns, species-habitat associations, population dynamics, and ecosystem and trophic interactions. Since these questions have relevance for the management and conservation of whale populations, we also address interactions with human activities and the effects of anthropogenic factors as part of our research. Because whales migrate over large ranges that cross political boundaries, our program has a strong international emphasis.

If you are interested in potentially joining the lab as an undergraduate intern, graduate student, or postdoc, please read my Letter to Prospective Applicants.

Daniel's background is in oceanography, with a primary interest in understanding the environmental factors that influence the ecology of marine megafauna in pelagic ecosystems. Prior to joining the MMI faculty in 2013, Daniel worked for 10 years at NOAA’s Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory as a member of the Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP) program. As part of this program, from 2004 to 2012 he participated in multi-disciplinary projects studying the movements and habitat associations of blue and humpback whales, elephant seals, Hawaiian albatrosses, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, and white sharks using electronic tags and remote sensing. His postdoctoral research in 2003-2004 was also at NOAA’s Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory, where he focused on describing interannual-to-decadal climate variability in the California Current System. For his 2003 Ph.D. dissertation at OSU he studied the community ecology of cetaceans inhabiting the waters around the Galápagos Islands based on data collected during a year-long expedition to this archipelago in 1993-1994, while working with the Ocean Alliance. His 1994 B.Sc. Senior project from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia was on the population status and breeding ecology of a seabird colony in the Caribbean Sea.

Hailing from Colombia, Daniel remains actively involved in promoting research and science advancement in Latin America as an active member of both the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Especialistas en Mamíferos Acuáticos (SOLAMAC) and the Sociedad Mexicana de Mastozoología Marina (SOMEMMA).

For citation indices and article-level metrics, visit Daniel's Google Scholar Citations Profile.

Member, Advisory Board, SARGADOM Project for the governance of the Costa Rica Thermal Dome and the Sargasso Sea, 2021–2026
Member, Pacific Scientific Review Group, U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, 2020–present
Associate Editor, Marine Mammal Science (Society for Marine Mammalogy), 2019–present
Review Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science (specialty: Marine Megafauna), 2017–present
Member, Steering Committee (Technical Advisory Panel), Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) system, Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI), 2017–present
Member, Aquatic Mammals Working Group, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Scientific Council, 2013–present
Member, Cetacean Specialist Group, IUCN-Species Survival Commission, 2011–present
Member, Scientific Committee, International Whaling Commission, 2008–present
Chair, Ecosystem Modelling Working Group, Scientific Committee, International Whaling Commission, 2012–2015
Editor-in-Chief, Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals (LAJAM), 2009–2014
Professional Affiliations: 
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM)
Sociedad Latioamericana de Especialistas en Mamíferos Acuáticos (SOLAMAC)
Honors and Awards: 
Endowed Professorship in Whale Habitats, 2018-present
Member, ad-hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Society for Marine Mammalogy, 2019–2020
Affiliated with: 
Whale Habitat, Ecology, & Telemetry (WHET) Lab
Hatfield Marine Science Center
My Publications