Results of a four-year effort to track humpback whales off the Oregon and Washington coasts will be up for discussion at the Saturday, Oct. 19, meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Cetacean Society.

Over the past four years, Oregon State University has been using satellite telemetry combined with photo-ID and genetics to monitor humpback whale movements and dive behavior along these coasts with the purpose of identifying and characterizing habitat use and population identity. Guest speaker Dr. Daniel M. Palacios will highlight the most important results of this effort, which is already filling a significant knowledge gap.

Palacios is an associate professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Together with Dr. Bruce Mate, he co-leads the Whale Telemetry Group at the Marine Mammal Institute. Palacios’ background is in oceanography, with a primary interest in understanding the environmental factors that influence the ecology of marine megafauna in pelagic ecosystems. His current focus is on using satellite telemetry to characterize critical habitat, foraging ecology, migration and navigation in large whales. His research also addresses interactions with human activities and provides information relevant to the management and conservation of whale populations.

Saturday’s presentation, which is free and open to all, will run from 10 am to noon at Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye Street.

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