MMRU is an integrated unit within the Fisheries Center (College for Interdisciplinary Studies) that works with other departments and institutions, combining specialties in a coordinated effort to provide independent research and advice on matters related to marine mammals.
The research program consists of four components:
1. Field studies contrasting healthy sea lion populations in Southeast Alaska, British Columbia and Oregon with declining populations in the Gulf of Alaska; and hands-on investigation of declining northern fur seal populations on the Pribilof Islands;
2. Captive studies on Steller sea lions and northern fur seals to enable the development and testing of new techniques and technologies for studying marine mammals in the wild; and to provide information that field studies cannot, such as physiological data, nutritional requirements and how they use energy derived from food;
3. Developing new measurement techniques for processing biological samples;
4. Interdisciplinary studies that analyze historical data sets, construct mathematical models and involve laboratory analysis.
Some specific questions being explored are:
- what are the abundance and population trends of marine mammals?
- what criteria can be used to determine population health?
- how much prey is consumed?
- what is the resource base and how is it affected by marine mammals?
- where do marine mammals occur and what determines their distribution and habitat needs?
These are some of the locations where MMRU researchers are studying marine mammals. Click on the orange dots to learn more about the ongoing studies.
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