Whale Ecology Lecture
Marine ecologist Leigh Torres is the February speaker for the "World of Haystack Rock" series, offered on the second Wednesday of each month from November through April by the Friends of Haystack Rock. Each presentation takes place at 7 p.m. in the Cannon Beach Library (131 N. Hemlock St.). Friends of Haystack Rock supports Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program.
Torres' Feb.14 lecture is entititeld, "Through the Looking Glass: New Persepectives on Whale Ecology to Inform Conservation." An Assistant Professor at Oregon State University, Leigh is a marine ecologist interested in understanding how marine animals, including marine mammals, seabirds and sharks, use their environment in the context of behavior, space and time. Her research explores how marine predators find prey within highly patchy, variable marine ecosystems. Much of this work is directed toward improving conservation management of protected or threatened species. Leigh’s work spans multiple spatial and temporal scales and occurs in many ecosystems including estuaries of Florida, near and offshore waters of the U.S. and Latin America, pelagic regions of the Southern Ocean, and sub-Antarctic islands and coastal waters of New Zealand.
Torres' work often integrates various types of species distribution datasets (i.e., sightings, telemetry, survey, historical, and acoustic datasets) with layers of environmental, prey and anthropogenic variables to develop dynamic habitat use models that incorporate the functional ecology of predator and prey species. These methods can reveal how distribution and behavioral patterns alter within a heterogeneous marine environment and lead to the development of predictive habitat use models. By identifying areas with increased presence of threatened species, management efforts can be more directed and effective. This is the goal of much of Leigh’s work — to separate, in time and space, threats and marine animals.
For more information about the event or the Friends of Haystack Rock, contact Tiffany Boothe, (503) 738-6211, [email protected].