Biological Research

Our lab examines the role of marine mammals in their environment and their interactions with humans. Broadly speaking, one can divide our research into questions related to the impact of harbor seals in their environment, including describing their natural history, and questions pertaining to the potential impact of human activities on harbor seals.

seal blending in with sand

Harbor seal foraging ecology (part II)

Currently, we are attempting to answer the following questions:

  • What is the differential impact in the community of male and female harbor seals? We plan to examine this question with incoming graduate student Jonathan Blubaugh in conjunction with Dr. Dietmar Schwarz, Western Washington University, and colleagues from NOAA in Seattle.
  • Is there individual specialization in harbor seals? We plan to examine this with incoming graduate student Nathaniel Guilford in conjunction with Dr. Dietmar Schwarz, Western Washington University.
  • What is the foraging success of harbor seals? This question is being examined by undergraduate student Madison McKay in Whatcom Creek, downtown Bellingham, Washington State, USA.
Seals on logs

Human activities and harbor seals

Currently, we are attempting to answer the following questions:

  • How are the numbers of harbor seals affected by human development? Data to answer this quesion are being collected by undergraduate student Wyatt Heimbichner-Goebel in downtown Bellingham, Washington State, USA.
  • What is the attitude of people towards harbor seals in Bellingham, WA? This question is being examined by undergraduate student Alisa Aist.