The California Ocean Alliance works together with research partners around the world on cutting-edge and multi-disciplinary marine mammal research to promote and inform conservation, management, and education. We conduct and support research on a variety of species and ecosystems to understand how human activities impact the health and survival of marine mammals.  The information gleaned from our various research programs feed directly into the creation of management and conservation actions and also is utilized to create unique and progressive educational programs. Check out our researcher photo gallery here


Foraging ecology of baleen whales in monterey bay

By collecting information about the abundance and behavior of prey concurrent to animals feeding, we can begin to understand how these changes affect the ways in which baleen whales forage.  We are working in Monterey Bay to gather data from a variety of species  to compare and contrast the ways in which baleen whales maximize their foraging efficiency.


behavioral responses of marine mammals to sound

An important and timely question in marine mammal research with direct conservation implications is how human sounds in the ocean can affect these sound-centric species. We know that they use and rely on sounds in the ocean for virtually every important aspect of their lives, from reproduction to foraging, navigation, and avoiding predators. Through research collaborations and research projects around the world, most recently in California, we have developed and applied new high-resolution technologies and controlled experimental methods to measure how marine mammals behave normally and how they may respond to underwater sounds.


Preventing Ship Strikes and Entanglement off the California Coast

COA has  been partnering with Cascadia Research Collective to conduct research to better understand the causes and potential solutions to the mortality of large whales due to ship strikes and entaglements.  


impacts of climate change on marine mammals

As the Antarctic Peninsula warms faster than any other region on the planet, understanding how these changes affect the structure and function of the Antarctic marine ecosystem is a paramount question.  In order to understand the effects of these changes on Antarctic marine mammals, we have developed a long-term project that will allow us to measure the behavior of individual animals living in the Antarctic and determine how changes in sea ice affect the behavior of different species.  


Soundscape monitoring in monterey bay

Because of the critical importance of sound in the natural history of marine mammals and in fact most marine life, baseline acoustic monitoring of marine environments provides an acoustic window into their world. By listening we can learn about the natural ambient noise conditions of the ocean, how animals contribute to this, and how people are influencing the underwater soundscape. COA is dedicated to work in partnership with other research organizations to help monitor ocean noise in several areas around the world, including right here in Monterey Bay, to better understand basic biology and how it may be affected by changing environmental conditions and human disturbance.