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Oceanographic impacts on baleen whale migration and habitat use

Our lab advances understanding of how trajectories of large whale populations, plankton populations and ocean transport respond to climate change. Recently, we worked with international research teams to publish collaborative research showing that recent warming in the Gulf of Maine had detrimental impacts on the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, which led North Atlantic right whales to abandon traditional migration patterns.  We demonstrated that these changes caused right whales to shift into unmanaged habitats, which led to a catastrophic human-driven mortality event and concomitant increase in extinction risk. These papers were featured in popular media including New York Times and CBC Quirks and Quarks.


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