Marine Mammal Research Unit

Two orcas swimming under water

Help researchers enhance marine mammal conservation and preserve our shared oceans

Marine mammals play a key role in helping to ensure balance in the marine ecosystem, which is vital to life on Earth. Yet they face an array of threats from human activities that endanger their survival. The researchers at the Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU) lead studies around the world to ultimately address conservation challenges.

One of the MMRU’s many current research projects looks specifically at Southern Resident killer whales, who face many threats ranging from entanglements and ship strikes to loss of habitat and reduced prey availability. As a group of mammals with a small population of about 75, these whales have been designated endangered in Canada. Your support will help researchers at the MMRU gain a better understanding of this population’s salmon-only consumption requirements, which may inform fisheries management decision and bring insight to concerns of fisheries competition between humans and killer whales.

Integrated within the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, the MMRU works with other departments and institutions to provide independent research and advice on matters related to marine mammals. Their research consists of four components:

  • Field studies: Finding ways to save seals, sea lions and whales from extinction by contrasting declining populations with healthy populations
  • Captive studies: Enabling the development and testing of new techniques and technologies for studying marine mammals in the wild to collect information such as physiological data and nutritional requirements
  • Developing new techniques: Developing new measurement and tagging techniques to process biological samples, analyze data and collect data remotely from marine mammals
  • Interdisciplinary studies: Collaborating with experts from different fields of study to analyze historic data sets, construct mathematical models and undertake novel laboratory analyses.

Your gift will help the MMRU conduct this critical marine conservation research.

How you can help

Your support of the Marine Mammal Research Unit will help scientists learn more about whales, sea lions, seals and other marine mammals.

Donate now


Valerie Titford


Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

Faculty of Science

Office of the Dean, Earth Sciences Building
2178–2207 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada
V6T 1Z4
UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. A bookmark An ribbon to indicate a special marker. Calendar A calendar. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. External link An arrow pointing up and to the right. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. A Facemask The medical facemask. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Lock, closed A closed padlock. Lock, open An open padlock. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Mask A protective face mask. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Money A money bill. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. RSS Curved lines indicating information transfer. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.