Marine Mammal Ecology Lab

Welcome to the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab!


We are housed in the Department of Biology of Western Washington University. Our efforts are geared towards understanding the role of marine mammals in their environment and their interactions with humans. The majority of this research has been conducted on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Salish Sea. Through the Science Mathematics and Technology Education program of Western Washington University we are also attempting to improve the teaching of science at all educational levels.

seal poking spotted head out of the water.

Biology Research

In collaboration with Dr. Dietmar Schwarz and former graduate student Austen, we are examining the impact of males and females, and individual harbor seals on the community by genetically tracking their prey consumption.

Through the work carried out by Western students we are examining the interactions between harbor seals and humans in the Salish Sea by describing the variation in the numbers of seals hauled-out in downtown Bellingham throughout the waterfront development and the foraging behavior of seals at Whatcom Creek.

Students gathered in a circle on a gray and white tiled floor.

Science Education

Along with many and diverse colleagues, we attempt to improve STEM teacher preparation programs in the State of Washington, increase the recruitment of qualified and diverse STEM students into teaching and create an adaptive, research-based model for improving STEM teacher preparation through collaboration.