Seabird Oceanography Lab


The Seabird Oceanography Lab (SOL) at Oregon State University is involved in research focusing on seabird ecology, movement ecology, oceanography, and integrated ecosystem studies while providing research and educational opportunities for students. We are spread across OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, and OSU’s main campus in Corvallis, with our academic home in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Our research applications range from colony- and vessel-based observational studies to deploying state of the art electronics to study individual foraging, dispersal, migration, and behavior patterns of seabirds. These biologging data are often integrated with in-situ and remotely-sensed measures of prey resources or their proxies or related to human activities (e.g., fishing) or threats. In addition to environmental "bottom-up" studies, we also study the "top-down" effects of predators on seabird population dynamics and life histories. 

Conservation aspects of our research include species restoration, population assessment and monitoring, seabird-fishery interactions, identification of marine important bird areas, and marine spatial planning.

We seek to engage students and the public in seabird science and conservation via social media, community presentations, experiential education, banding programs, webcams, and other means.



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Overlap between marine predators and proposed Marine Managed Areas in the Falkland Islands

Aug 2, 2021

By Alastair Baylis, South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute A globally significant wildlife wonder spot The Falkland Islands, located on the southeast Patagonian Shelf, are a self-governing UK Overseas Territory (UKOT), and a globally significant wildlife wonder spot. Home to 75% of the global population of Black-browed albatross, 50% of the global population of South American …

Yaquina Head seabird monitoring: July update

Jul 22, 2021

By, Laney Klunis, NSF REU Intern Hello everyone! We are excited to share with you an update on our nest monitoring of the common murres and cormorants at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (YHONA). Although our updates were on hiatus in 2020, we are happy to report were able to conduct monitoring. However, there was …

A field season on Middleton Island: Part II – cormorant oceanographers

Sep 7, 2020

By Jillian Soller, Brendan Higgins, and Adam Peck-Richardson We are drafting this blog during our last few days on Middleton Island. Our field season here flew by and this year’s chicks are beginning to fledge. We tagged 21 pelagic cormorants nesting on the seabird research tower and data are streaming in through the cell phone …

A field season on Middleton Island: Tracking pelagic cormorants in the Gulf of Alaska

Jul 27, 2020

By Brendan Higgins, Jillian Soller, and Adam Peck-Richardson Greetings from Middleton Island, Alaska! This unique island in the Gulf of Alaska will be our home for six weeks as we investigate one of its common residents, the pelagic cormorant. We arrived on Middleton June 29th onboard a chartered nine-seat plane after a whirlwind shopping trip …


Nov 6, 2019

By Rachael Orben Welcome to the blog of the Seabird Oceanography Lab. We engage in seabird science research along the Oregon coast, and worldwide. This blog will be used to provide updates on fieldwork, research, and anything seabird related! We may occasionally discuss seals. Please visit us again! Previous Blog Posts Over the past few …