The Wildlife Evolution and Behavior program, or web, at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute is dedicated to basic and applied research on marine mammals, including in remote locations like the Arctic. Our research focuses on behavioral, ecological and evolutionary aspects of species vulnerability and resilience, especially in times of change. Our work is a collaborative effort with many partners, including Native Peoples across the north.

Wildlife Evolution and Behavior is the group formerly known as Population Biology and Behavioral Ecology.

web reflects the evolution of our research and more accurately encompasses current study interests.

Also, if we're being honest, PBBE was a tough acronym.  

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Tracking Ghosts

beluga whales in kotzebue sound

November 2021

Kotzebue Sound is an extensive inlet of shallow waters in south-eastern Chukchi Sea, Alaska. This region was frequented by beluga whales in large numbers every summer until their near disappearance in the 1980s.


This study spans over four decades, (pre- and post-decline), and investigates the stock identity and recent history of Kotzebue belugas and the complicated reasons they may not be recovering.


Our findings indicate that Kotzebue Sound belugas comprised a unique stock. We recommend that the U.S. Government recognize this and implement a co-management plan with ABWC and the local hunters and communities of Kotzebue Sound.