Graduate Studies:

The OSU Marine Mammal Institute does much more than research. It develops resourceful graduate students who become successful professionals in state and federal government, academics, and research. For individual lab information, please contact the Principal Investigators directly. Most of the faculty hold academic appointments in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Dr. Bruce Mate is a Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director of the Marine Mammal Institute. Dr. Mate currently focuses on the Institute's program development and is no longer accepting graduate students.

Dr. Scott Baker is a Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife and is broadly interested in the evolutionary and ecological pattern and process in whales and dolphins, including their abundance, population structure, genetic diversity, and systematic relationships. Dr. Baker is particularly interested in projects that bring together both molecular and demographic approaches to improve the conservation of these species.

Dr. Markus Horning is an Associate Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife and his research focuses on ecology, behavioral physiology, and conservation biology of pinnipeds. Dr. Horning is based at the Alaska SeaLife Center. Please contact him directly regarding graduate student opportunities.

Dr. Leigh Torres is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Oregon Sea Grant. Dr. Torres is a Marine Mammal Behavioral Ecologist and Sea Grant Extension Specialist, who focuses on spatial and behavioral ecology and conservation. Potential graduate students are encouraged to review her Letter to Prospective Graduate Students.

Internship Opportunities: 

Marine Mammal Institute faculty often participate in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer internship program, which is open to non-OSU as well as OSU students. 

Academic internship opportunities based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center can be found here:

Internships for students through the OSU Marine Studies Initiative can be found here:

Volunteer Opportunities:

The Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN) relies heavily on the involvement of citizen volunteers, who serve as its eyes and ears on the beaches. For more information, please contact Jim Rice, OMMSN Coordinator, at (541) 867-0446 or

Each winter, Dr. Bruce Mate teaches a weekend course to volunteers of the Whale Watching Spoken Here program. These 200–400 volunteers then help to educate 40,000 visitors to the Oregon Coast during the height of the gray whale migration cycle. For more information, contact the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.