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Wildlife Populations (Ecology)

Examining the interconnectedness of marine life and habitats

Oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet.* At Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, our team of scientists is committed to understanding the relationships of marine animals to each other and their environments.

Our research focuses on predicting and, when possible, preventing negative impacts to vulnerable marine animals facing increasing human populations, intensifying environmental pressures and changing climate. We strive to understand why a particular species occurs in some places and not others, why a population is growing or shrinking, how marine animals interact with the other elements within an ecosystem and how they respond to human interaction.

Large marine vertebrates such as bottlenose dolphins, whale sharks, Hawaiian monk seals and killer whales are important contributors to their ecosystems and have been affected by our rapidly changing world. We use traditional techniques, like observational surveys, and newer approaches such as satellite tracking and molecular biology to study the influence of biological factors (food availability and disease) and non-biological factors (changes in sea surface temperature) on marine life. This interdisciplinary approach has helped us to better understand and provide solutions for threats such as habitat loss, pollution and human disturbance.

With your help, we can continue to ensure healthy ecosystems for marine life!

*Hawai’i Pacific University Oceanic Institute