Scientists and biologists in the Pacific Northwest are constantly looking for answers to causes of strandings of marine mammals and emerging diseases that can impact not only marine mammal populations, but pose health risks for humans as well.

Studies also provide data to lessen human impacts from contaminants, ship strikes and other human hazards.

(this is only a small sampling of studies, more to come)

Brucella Pinnipedialis infections in Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) from Washington State, USA

Polyparasitism is associated with increased disease severity in Toxoplasma gondii-infected marine sentinel species.

A novel Sarcocystis neurona genotype XIII is associated with severe encephalitis in an unexpectedly broad range of marine mammals from the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Coxiella burnetii Infection of a Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus) Found in Washington State

Kersh, G.J., D.M. Lambourn, S.A. Raverty, K.A. Fitzpatrick, J.S. Self, A.M. Akmajian, S.J. Jeffries, J. Huggins, C.P. Drew, S.R. Zaki and R.F. Massung. 2012. Coxiella burnetii infection of marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest, 1997-2010. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 48:201-206.

Pathology and epidemiology of phocid herpesvirus-1 in wild and rehabilitating harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi) in the northeastern Pacific.

Huggins, JL, J Oliver, DM Lambourn, J Calambokidis, B Diehl, and S Jeffries. 2015. Dedicated beach surveys along the Central Washington coast reveal a high proportion of unreported marine mammal strandings. Marine Mammal Science 31:782-789. DOI: 10.1111/mms.12184

Akmajian, A., J. Calambokidis, J.L. Huggins, and D. Lambourn. 2014. Age, region, and temporal patterns of trace elements in stranded harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) from Washington inland waters. Northwestern Naturalist 95:83-91.

Norman, S. A., Huggins, J., Carpenter, T. E., Case, J. T., Lambourn, D. M., Rice, J., Calambokidis, J., Gaydos, J. K., Hanson, M. B., Duffield, D. A., Dubpernell, S., Berta, S. and Klope, M. 2011. The application of GIS and spatiotemporal analyses to investigations of unusual marine mammal strandings and mortality events. Marine Mammal Science. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2011.00507.x

Increased harbor porpoise mortality in the Pacific Northwest, USA: understanding when higher levels may be normal.
Huggins JL1, Raverty SA, Norman SA, Calambokidis J, Gaydos JK, Duffield DA, Lambourn DM, Rice JM, Hanson B, Wilkinson K, Jeffries SJ, Norberg B, Barre L.