Hatfield Science on Tap has returned to its regular in-person format. The option to watch online is still available.

Life as a PCFG:

A close look at the ecology and health of Pacific Coast Feeding Group gray whales in Oregon waters

When: Wed., Nov. 30

  • 5:00 - 6:00 PM: Social Hour with food and beverages available for purchase
  • 6:00 PM: Event begins

Where: Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building Auditorium

  • 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR

This is a free, family-friendly event open to all.

Online Option: Please click the link to join the webinar https://oregonstate.zoom.us/j/98072807606

  • Telephone: US: +1-971-247-1195  
  • Webinar ID: 980-7280-7606

Guest Speaker: Leigh Torres, Associate Professor, Marine Mammal Institute, OSU Dept. of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Sciences, Oregon Sea Grant Extension

Most gray whales in the Eastern North Pacific (EPN ~20,000 individuals) feed in the Arctic and sub-Arctic region. However, a small subgroup known as the Pacific Coast Feeding Group (PCFG ~230 individuals) feed primarily in coastal habitats between northern California and British Columbia.

Over the past seven years, Torres and her team have studied the ecology and health of PCFG gray whales foraging in the coastal waters of Oregon through collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches. They use multiple tools to understand the health, behavior and environment of these whales including drones, poop collection, suction cup video tags, hydrophones, underwater GoPro videos and prey collection.

In this talk Torres will discuss the results comparing the prey quality of ENP vs PCFG whales, estimate the microplastic consumption rates of PCFG whales, demonstrate increased stress levels of PCFG whales relative to vessel traffic, document the consequences of entanglement and vessel strike events of PCFG whales, contrast the body condition and morphology of PCFG and ENP whales, describe the unique foraging behaviors of PCFG whales, and document the impacts of rapid habitat change on PCFG foraging rates. These findings highlight the unique life history strategy, threats, and culture of PCFG gray whales.

Did you miss a talk?

If you missed a talk - no worries. We have them recorded and posted in our Science on Tap playlist on Hatfield's YouTube channel, along with dozens of research seminar presentations, video tours and more.

Science on Tap is a free, family-friendly event in a casual environment featuring a host of scientists talking about the latest ocean research.

This speaker series runs monthly from September to June. Look for new events on this page, our social media accounts, the HMSC events calendar on the home page, or the OSU events calendar.