Greg and his team’s research focuses on the use of molecular genetic techniques and satellite-linked telemetry in the study of the molecular and behavioral ecology of northern temperate, Arctic, and Antarctic marine mammals. He is particularly interested in investigating interactions between these apex predators and their environment, and the application of research findings to the conservation and management of these species. Recently, these interests have turned to using a range of modern field and lab techniques to investigate the effects of climate change and ecosystem regime shifts on marine mammals and other apex predators. Much of his group’s research is conducted in collaboration with Native communities across Alaska, Canada, and Russia.
Greg completed his studies (B.Sc., Ph.D.) at University College Dublin, Ireland, where he focused on terrestrial mammals (ungulates and carnivores), before embarking on a career in marine mammalogy. Beginning with a postdoc, he initiated and ran a research group at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, for 14 years studying the molecular and behavioral ecology of several marine mammal species in the North Pacific Ocean and across the Arctic, including beluga whales, sea lions, and seals. He has served on a number of panels relating to marine mammal research and management, and has co-authored over 20 scientific publications. In 2007 Greg moved to Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution to set up the Polar Research Program.
His research interests extend beyond the marine realm to the evolution of social behavior and mating systems in mammals, and the role of individual fitness in population viability and adaptation.
He is also interested in the co-management approach to the management of marine resources and is working on a number of projects related to climate change. He was formerly adjunct Professor at San Diego State University and has served on a number of committees concerned with the management and conservation of both marine and terrestrial mammals.
With his recent move to Florida, Greg hopes to expand his research interests into important academic and applied questions in the tropics and subtropics.
Westlake, R.L. and O’Corry-Crowe, G.M. (2002). Macrogeographic structure and patterns of genetic diversity in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from Alaska to Japan. Journal of Mammalogy, 83: 1111–1126.
Sigler, M.F., Hulbert, L.B. Lunsford, C.R., Thompson, N.H., Burek, K., O’Corry-Crowe, G. and Hirons A.C. (2006) Diet of Pacific sleeper shark, a potential Steller sea lion predator, in the north-east Pacific Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology, 69: 392-405.
Lowry, L., O’Corry-Crowe, G., and Goodman, D. (2006). Delphinapterus leucas (Cook Inlet subpopulation). In: IUCN 2006. 2006 IUCN Red list of Threatened and Species.
O’Corry-Crowe, G., Taylor, B.L., Gelatt, T., Loughlin, T.R., Bickham, J., Basterretche, M., Pitcher, K.W. and DeMaster, D.P. (2006) Demographic independence along ecosystem boundaries in Steller sea lions revealed by mtDNA analysis: implications for management of an endangered species. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 84: 1796-1809.
O’Corry-Crowe, G. Population genetics of marine mammals. (2007) In: Miller, D.L. (ed.) Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny in Cetacea: Whales, Porpoises, and Dolphins. Volume 7 in series "Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny." B.G.M. Jamieson (Series ed.). Science Publishers, Inc., Enfield, New Hampshire.
Gelatt, T., Trites, A.W., Hastings, K., Jemison, L., Pitcher, K. and O’Corry-Crowe, G. (2007). Population trends, diet, genetics, and observations of Steller sea lions in Glacier Bay National Park. In J.F. Piatt and S.M. Gende (eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium, U.S. Geological Survey, Juneau, Alaska.
O’Corry-Crowe, G.M. (2008) Climate change and the molecular ecology of Arctic marine mammals. Ecological Applications. 18: S56-S76.
O’Corry-Crowe, G.M. (in press) Beluga Whale (Delphinapterus leucas). In Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. Ed.s W.F. Perrin, B. Wursig, and J.G. M. Thewissen. Academic Press, San Diego.