Ladd Irvine

Research Associate

Office: 541-867-0145

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PhD. Wildlife Science, Oregon State University, 2024
M.Sc. Biological Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2008
B.S. Biology, University of Puget Sound, 1998
Research/Career Interests: 

I am broadly interested in studying the foraging ecology of large whales and understanding how local-scale behavior like individual feeding and movement translates into broader-scale ecological patterns like species distribution and residence time. I use data from bio-logging devices (satellite tags and time-depth recorders) to characterize the distribution and seasonal occurrence of satellite-tagged whales while also describing how they are using different areas. This type of information can be linked with environmental data to better understand he behavioral responses leading to selection of different habitats. Understanding the behavioral drivers of whale distribution will aid conservation efforts by defining why whales are using certain areas. This will provide an improved basis to identify potential risks associated with anthropogenic interactions, so that better mitigation strategies can be implemented.

Marine mammals, especially whales, are highly mobile and spend the majority of their time underwater, which prevents us from using one of the most basic research methods available to scientists: observation. One of my other interests is improving ways to overcome this limitation with technology like bio-logging devices, as well as developing methods to glean additional information from limited data. For example, technological limitations often make feeding behavior data unavailable for time periods longer than one or two days, but movement data can be collected for weeks or months by satellite tags. My interests in linking individual feeding behavior to movement have the added benefit of characterizing what kind of behavioral inferences can be made when only movement data are available at these longer time scales.

Study design and analysis of movement and behavior data collected by satellite tags
Leading field work to deploy satellite tags on a variety of large whale species
Manuscript preparation for peer reviewed articles and reports
Field work logistics and satellite tag preparation
Communicating research results to the scientific community and general public
Professional Affiliations: 
Society for Marine Mammalogy
International Bio-logging Society
Professional Preparation: 
Sr. Faculty Research Assistant, Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University, 2014–2014
Faculty Research Assistant, Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University, 2007–2014
Graduate Research Assistant, Oregon State University, Marine Mammal Institute, 2004–2007
Intern and research technician, Oregon State University, Marine Mammal Program, 1999–2004
Affiliated with: 
Marine Mammal Institute
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Sciences
Hatfield Marine Science Center
My Publications