Marine Species and Ecosystems

Marine Species and Ecosystems

CIMERS investigators study marine species distribution, aquaculture, marine ecosystems and habitats, strategies to protect and restore marine resources, and marine genomics, an emerging field focused on how marine animals work, evolve, and adapt.

Protect & Restore Marine Resources

Kemp's Ridley Turtle

  • Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; Kemp’s Ridley turtles were compared using sequential isotopic analysis of inert tissues to determine cumulative prey consumption and;habitat occupation.

  • Quantitative tools for assessing effects of anthropogenic mortality on marine turtle populations were developed.

  • The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle population model was re-evaluated. 

  • Atlantic Kemp's Ridley age, growth dynamics, habitat use, and trophic ecology were compared to the Gulf of Mexico.

Commercial Fisheries

  • A Pacific Hake stock assessment research review was condcuted.

  • Potential mitigation options for seabird bycatch in West Coast at-sea Hake fisheries were evaluated.

  • A bioeconomic spatial fishery simulator was refined and applied.

  • The dynamics and management of Pacific ocean perch was evaluated.

  •  An ecotoxicogenomic analysis of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)-exposed Chinook salmon was conducted.

Human Dimensions and Outreach

  • A study of Pacific Northwest fishing community oral histories was conducted.

  • An educational exhibit of endangered and threatened species of the Northwest Pacific coast was developed.

Marine Ecosystems & Habitats

  • Essential habitat of flatfishes in Chukchi Sea, including yellowfin sole and Greenland halibut, was studied.

  • Hydrography information and ichthyoplankton were used to inform ocean ecosystem indicators of ocean conditions in the Northern California Current.

  • A total of 2,000 Chinook salmon samples were collected from fishers in Oregon and Washington to quantify near-real-time ecosystem effects on ocean distribution.​

  • Long-term climatic forcing and the pelagic nekton community in the Northern California Current were linked to improve ecosystem-based fisheries management and integrated ecosystem assessments.

  • Interannual variability in the spatial overlap between forage fishes and large medusa Chrysaora fuscescens in the northern California Current region was studied.

  • An integrated-multi-layer GIS database for US West Coast groundfish was developed.

  • Multi-beam mapping of high coral bycatch areas occurred in Northern California and Southern Oregon.

  • Ecosystem effects on adult Chinook Salmon distribution and abundance were assessed using coast-wide genetic stock identification.

  • Climate and habitat effects on the productivity of important Alaska fishery species were assessed.

  • Long-term observations of hydrography and zooplankton were analyzed in coastal waters off Oregon.

  • The effects of climate and habitat effects on the productivity of important Alaska fisheries were evaluated.

  • Long-term forcing and the pelagic nekton community in the Northern California Current were linked to improving ecosystem-based fisheries management and integrated ecosystem assessments.

  • The essential habitat of flatfish in early life stages in the Chukchi Sea was studied.

  • The phytoplankton community of the Northern California Current was studied to inform bioenergetics of the food chain.

  • Near real-time ecosystem effects on the ocean distribution of Chinook were quantified for WA and OR coasts.

  • Pseudo-nitzshchia blooms and domoic acid were monitored along the Newport hydrographic line.

  • Ecosystem services from natural infrastructure were valued using a multi-disciplinary, integrative approach.

  • ISIIS was modified for autonomous vehicles.

  • Sanctuary seafloor maps were created.

  • Pelagic and demersal habitats were created..

  • Ocean indicator surveys in the northern California Current ecosystem were conducted.

  • A habitat use database for the California Current was created.

  • Science coordination for long-term monitoring of marine conditions and affected resources was conducted (Gulf Watch Alaska)

Marine Mammals

  • The OSU Marine Mammal Institute is taking part in a multi-year collaboration to measure the physiological effects of multiple stressors, including ocean noise, on Pacific Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

  • The Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN) works in partnership with NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and is based at the OSU Marine Mammal Institute. The OMMSN responds to sick, injured, distressed, or dead marine mammals and sea turtles along the Oregon coast and investigates the causes of these strandings. The OMMSN is funded through a competitive annual NOAA Prescott grant, in cooperation with CIMERS.