Mauricio Cantor

Assistant Professor
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Office: (541) 867-0357

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I joined the Marine Mammal Institute and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Sciences at Oregon State University in the Fall 2021 as an Assistant Professor, after receiving a BSc in Biological Sciences and a MSc in Ecology in Brazil, a PhD in Biology in Canada, and after enjoying a series of postdoctoral appointments in Brazil, Germany and Switzerland. My research has been primarily focused on the ecology of vertebrates dealing with the fundamental life challenges in the marine realm. I usually consider marine mammals as research models due to their behavioral diversity, learning ability and social complexity —not to mention the exciting fieldwork challenges that come with studying them—but my interests expand to a broad range of other biological phenomena. Over the recent years, I have been collaborating on a range of theoretical and empirical projects that investigate the structure and function of networked biological systems (from molecules to ecosystems) and the dynamics of social and cultural lives of human and non-human animals. 

I am excited to develop a diverse program for integrative research on interacting organisms that combines behavioral ecology and ecological interactions. The Lab for Animal Behavioural Interaction Research In The Ocean (LABIRINTO) aims to address three major questions: how individual behaviour is shaped by interactions with both the physical and social environments; how the collection of such interactions shape both positive (e.g. cooperation, mutualism) and negative interactions (e.g. predation, depredation) among species; how the resultant ecological and cultural processes feedback onto the behaviour of individuals. More recently, we have been interested in interactions on the interface of terrestrial and marine environments, particularly how humans interact with marine wildlife—both positively and negatively. Combining theoretical models with empirical data on marine megafauna (primarily, small and large toothed whales), we aim to illuminate the ecological drivers and consequences of such human-wildlife interactions, to understand and predict the conditions under which they can flip between positive and negative.

PhD in Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada
MSc in Ecology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
BSc (teaching) in Biological Sciences, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
Professional Affiliations: 
Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Germany
Department of Ecology and Zoology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
Center for Marine Studies, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Affiliated with: 
Marine Mammal Institute
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Beyond OSU
My Publications