Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) is a non-profit scientific research organization committed to conserving and renewing marine life to ensure a healthier planet. Our team of experts provides innovative and objective scientific solutions to challenges threatening ocean health and marine life in our rapidly changing world. HSWRI operates out of three locations, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA and Melbourne Beach, FL.
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.
Sound plays an integral role in both human and animal lives—it helps individuals maintain social bonds, care for young, navigate, find food, avoid predators and monitor the world around them. At Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, our bioacoustics program studies how marine animals produce and are affected by sound.
Our Ocean Health Program studies how animals react to natural and human-induced change. Understanding and preventing diminished marine animal health and widespread mortality events of populations of marine mammals, seabirds, finfish and sharks are some of our top priorities.
The world’s population is slated to grow by 2.4 billion people by 2050.* According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, we must produce 70 percent more food to meet impending world hunger needs. Our research team and its collaborators have played a leadership role for over 35 years in developing innovative replenishment solutions with no negative biological impacts.
Latest News & Events
Hubbs Science #TalkTuesdays
Get to know our team of researchers every Tuesday, and catch behind the scenes exclusives of our work.
Research and Operations Information During COVID-19
New HSWRI Research Detects Potent Neurotoxin in Indian River Lagoon (FL)
The Southern Resident Killer Whale is in serious trouble. Learn more about research Hubbs Scientist Sam Rossman has conducted.
Citizen Science Programs
- Turn in your White Seabass Head (CA)
- Otter Spotter (FL)
- Report stranded on entangled Dolphin or whale (FL)
Education & Outreach
We are committed to creating future citizen advocates for ocean health and marine life by advancing public appreciation for scientific discovery.
Our scientists encourage life-long learning in ocean science through public outreach.
Help Human And Marine Life Thrive Together
WHAT WE DO This program studies how marine life and the ocean are affected by natural and human-induced change. WHY IT MATTERS To promote ocean health, we are: • Studying ways to prevent disease transmission • Promoting ecosystem health and resilience • Providing rapid first response to dolphin, whale and other marine life strandings HOW YOU CAN HELP #SEACHANGENOW: Donate and our scientists will be able to promote a healthier planet where humans and marine life thrive together. Your gift will help: • Gauge risks of disease transmission between humans and marine life • Provide biomedical sampling kits to evaluate marine animal health • Underwrite Channel Islands expeditions to study the influences of climate change on ocean health
Nationally recognized aquaculture expert Mark Drawbridge, M.S., serves as the Director of the Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Program, which is focused on developing techniques for growing marine finfish for ocean replenishment and farming. Mark’s team is currently working to replenish wild stocks of depleted species such as white seabass, Pacific halibut and California yellowtail; while simultaneously developing a global model for sustainable aquatic farming as a means to “Feed the world with no measurable negative impact on the environment”. Your donations to this program can help our leading-edge researchers create the model to feed the world, replenish fish populations and provide economic value to American coastal communities. Donate Now.
WHAT WE DO We focus on understanding the relationships between marine animals and their environment in order to address threats to ecosystem health. WHY IT MATTERS Our research focuses on predicting and preventing impacts from: • Human disturbance • Habitat loss and pollution • Climate change HOW YOU CAN HELP #SEACHANGENOW: Your donations help us examine the interconnectedness of marine life and habitats by funding projects like: • Whale shark expeditions to study migrations and diving behavior • Boat surveys to monitor dolphin abundance and movement patterns • New techniques for evaluating penguin habitat use
Education and Outreach
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute’s entire staff is unanimously committed to inspiring future generations of ocean scientists. This is done through advancing public appreciation for scientific discovery and encouraging life-long learning to inspire future generations of scientists and resource managers. We provide hands-on learning opportunities for people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, to promote careers in science through in-class student engagements and internships. Together we can inspire a love for science while encouraging ocean stewardship for a healthier world.
Using sound to harmonize human and animal interaction. With knowledge of how marine animals use sound for communication and survival, our scientists work with anglers, industry resource managers, and research collaborators to minimize injuries and mortality to both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Our bioacoustics program studies how marine animals produce and are affected by natural and human-made sound. By understanding how marine life uses sound for communication and survival, we can: • Minimize entanglements, injuries and mortality to dolphins, killer whales, polar bears and other species • Reduce the impacts of human-produced noise • Use sound to warn marine life of hazardous situations
Marine Mammal Stranding Response & Dolphin Ecology, Florida
Hubbs Marine Mammal Stranding program (@hubbsmms) is the federally authorized first responder to stranded/injured dolphins and whales in Brevard & Volusia counties. To report an animal at 1-888-404-3922. As first responders Hubbs scientist, and volunteer are on call 24/7 to provide assistance to live animals, and to examine and collect samples from dead animals. HSWRI conducts vital research on samples taken from these animals in order to investigate life-threatening diseases that affect both marine life and humans. This research informs Indian River Lagoon habitat management of potential actions to save bottlenose dolphins and other marine life.
Otter Spotter Program
North American river otters are playful, inquisitive animals that live along the shore of the Indian River Lagoon in Central Florida. A healthy otter population is a signal that the lagoon is doing well and supporting animals that rely on healthy fish, invertebrate animals and seagrass. Otters’ wellbeing can signal if there are environmental changes that could hurt wildlife and humans’ quality of life. One of our most popular programs is the citizen science project called Otter Spotter. Otter Spotters are trained observers that report their otter sightings to our program. This data help us understand structure, movement patterns and habitat use.
Sea Bass in the Classroom
Seabass in the Classroom is a hands-on program that encourages students to be practical problem solvers and increase their interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics. This unique aquaculture program allows students to personally grow, feed, monitor and release seabass in Southern California waters. The program also increases student awareness of aquaculture benefits; including sustainable food production and depleted fishery replenishment. The program currently serves more than 1,000 students at 11 schools throughout southern California, opening their minds to careers and higher education opportunities in science and the environment.