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A Small Piece of a Large Puzzle: Investigating the Fine-scale Foraging Ecology of Gray Whales in Port Orford, Oregon
February 9, 2021 | 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PST
Young Scientist Webinar Series
The Cape Perpetua Collaborative is hosting a Young Scientist Webinar Series featuring graduate students and postdocs sharing their ocean research. This series will take place October – April on the second Tuesday of the Month (Oct 13, Nov 10, Dec 8, Jan 12, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13) at 5:30pm.
February 9 at 5:30pm
Presenting Lisa Hildebrand, Third-year graduate student in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at OSU
Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) along the west coast of the United States follow a well-documented migration every year. They breed and nurse their calves in the lagoons of Baja, Mexico between September to January, before they head north to their feeding grounds in Alaska and the Arctic. Once there, whales spend the summer months feeding on zooplankton to regain crucial body mass that they have lost while on the breeding grounds. Towards the end of the summer, the population will start their migration back south, restarting the annual cycle. However, a small subset of this large population strays from the norm and does not continue all the way to Alaska. Instead, they make the waters off the coasts of northern California, Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia their homes for the summer. Who are these individuals and why exactly do they do this? Come hear about the research that a team of Oregon State University researchers undertakes every year in Port Orford, OR to help answer some of these fundamental questions about gray whales.
About the Presenter
Lisa Hildebrand is a third-year graduate student at Oregon State University in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Torres in her Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna lab. She is an international student from Germany who very quickly after moving here in the fall of 2018 fell in love with Oregon and all it has to offer. Lisa has undertaken research on a handful of marine mammal species including bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, humpback, blue, and now, gray whales, who have become the focus of her graduate research.