welcome to the Marine Mammal Institute

The OSU Marine Mammal Institute integrates research, graduate education, and outreach to advance our knowledge of marine mammals, train the next generation of professionals, and engage with stakeholders to ensure that these animals and their ecosystems are always healthy.


DNA archive continues to provide new insight into speciation of whale

MMI Associate Director, Scott Baker, initiated an archive of genetic samples from whales and dolphins of New Zealand when he was professor at the University of Auckland. Now, under the curation of his former students, Associate Professor Rochelle Constantine and Dr. Emma Carroll, this archive continues to provide new information on the evolution of whales. Most recently, DNA samples from this archive were used to help describe a new species of beaked whales named in honor of a renown Māori naturalist, Ramari Stewart, who collected a stranded specimen of the new species.

Scott and his Senior Faculty Research Assistant, Debbie Steel, contributed to the formal description of "Ramari’s whale" published this October in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Figure: Sampling locations in the NA (black circles) and SH (yellow circle). Global map viewed as a Spilhaus projection that shows the connectedness of the ocean, with sampling locations and distribution of Mesoplodon mirus and proposed species M. eueu shown by the key, with the artist's impression of the species in top right. Credit: Vivian Ward, University of Auckland. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.1213

Whale Habitat, Ecology & Telemetry Laboratory

The Whale Habitat, Ecology, and Telemetry Laboratory focuses on studying whale movements and their relationship to their complex and changing environments.

Cetacean Conservation and Genomics Laboratory

The Cetacean Conservation and Genomics Laboratory explores the genomes of whales and dolphins to understand the past, assess the present, and conserve the future.

Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory

The Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory focuses on the ecology, behavior and conservation of marine megafauna including cetaceans, pinnipeds, seabirds, and sharks.

Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network

The Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network documents occurrences and investigates the causes of marine mammal strandings in Oregon. Learn what to do if you find a marine mammal ashore.