Wildlife Evolution and Behavior (WEB)
Greg’s research program focuses on combining molecular genetic analysis with field ecology to study the molecular and behavioral ecology of marine apex predators. Both longitudinal (time) and latitudinal (space) studies on marine mammals and birds in polar, temperate and tropical ecosystems are pursued. He is particularly interested in investigating the effects of ecosystem and climate change on upper trophic levels and on top-down/bottom-up forcing. 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 science. He 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. Current research includes field and lab studies on beluga whales, Steller sea lions, ice seals, bottlenose dolphins and polar bears.
His research interests extend beyond the marine realm to the evolution of social behavior and mating systems in mammals, the role of individual fitness in population viability and adaptation, applying Resilience concepts to ecosystems and wildlife species, and the application of ancient DNA technology to ecosystem and evolutionary questions. Prior to joining Florida Atlantic University, Greg was adjunct professor at San Diego State University. He has an active graduate student program.
Heidi Pagán, Ph.D.
Heidi leads research on genomics, including immune function in marine mammals and, more recently, microorganism community structure in environmental samples using eDNA. Heidi is also interested in developing sufficient ‘OMICS’ pipelines for application in remote field settings that streamline sample collection and processing, sequence analysis, and bioinformatics.
Tatiana Ferrer, M.Sc.
Coordinator of Research Programs
Tatiana oversees all research activities in the Molecular Ecology Lab and the Ancient DNA Lab. She also conducts research on a wide variety of issues related to marine mammal management and conservation, including genetic mark-recapture studies of beluga whales and polar bears, and investigations of immune function in bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales.
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