Science on Tap: Gray Whales

November 30, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR
Oregon State University

Diving gray whale. /Photo courtesy of OSU.
Diving gray whale. /Photo courtesy of OSU.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) is holding a hybrid Science on Tap event on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. The theme for the night is “Life as a PCFG: A close look at the ecology and health of Pacific Coast Feeding Group gray whales in Oregon waters” hosted by DR. Leigh Torres, an Oregon State Universit Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Oregon Sea Grant Extension and Principal Investigator of the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory (GEMM Lab).

About the event:

“Over the past seven years, Torres and her team have studied the ecology and health of Pacific Coast Feeding Group (PCFG) gray whales that forage in the coastal waters of Oregon. They use multiple tools to understand these whales’ health, behavior and environment, including drones, poop collection, suction cup video tags, hydrophones, underwater GoPro videos and prey collection. In this talk Torres will discuss recent findings, including the prey quality and estimated microplastic consumption rates of PCFG whales, changes in stress levels relative to vessel traffic, the consequences of entanglement and vessel strike events, contrasting body condition and morphology, unique foraging behaviors, and impacts of rapid habitat change on PCFG foraging rates. These findings highlight the unique life history strategy, threats, and culture of PCFG gray whales.”

The event will take place at HMSC in the Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building (2030 SE Marine Science Drive in Newport) and remotely on Zoom. Food and drink will be available in the atrium from 5-6 p.m. before the talk.  

This event is free and open to all. To join remotely on Zoom, use this link.