Marine Mammal Genetics Research

Leading marine mammal conservation and management through genetics

Two fin whales in the California Current emerge from the water's surface.

Fin whales in the California Current. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/Paula Olson

The Marine Mammal Genetics Program supports management and conservation of whales, dolphins, porpoises, and pinnipeds by using genetic data to identify population structure at multiple levels. This work forms the basis of NOAA management under the Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection ActAlthough our primary focus is on species in the eastern North Pacific, many range widely, so we also conduct research on a global scale and collaborate extensively with many international researchers and organizations.

Marine Mammal Genetics Emblem

Focal Species

  • Baleen whales (Mysticetes)
  • Toothed whales (Odontocetes)
  • Seals and sea lions (Pinnipeds)

Research Expertise

  • Population and Conservation Genetics
  • Taxonomy and Systematics
  • Genomics  

Program Support








Last updated by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on August 06, 2020