Hear the astonishing story of the origins and evolution of cetaceans.
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Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are found in all oceans of the world, from ice edge in Antarctica to ice edge in the Arctic, and shallowest of coastal bays (and even in some freshwater rivers) to the most remote oceanic regions, surface of the ocean to the bottom of the sea. They are among the most recognizable of all marine animals, yet many of us are unaware that this charismatic group of large-bodied mammals evolved from terrestrial ancestors. This program will present the fascinating story of the origin and evolution of cetaceans, as evidenced by the fossil record and artistic impressions of cetacean ancestors. Prepare to be amazed.
Dr. Lisa T. Ballance is the Director of Oregon State University's Marine Mammal Institute, Endowed Chair of Marine Mammal Research, and Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences. She has studied the ecology and conservation biology of whales, dolphins, and porpoises (and seabirds) for over 30 years around the world, including the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans, Antarctica, the Bering Sea, and Cambodia's Mekong River. Prior to joining OSU's Marine Mammal Institute, Dr. Ballance was a scientist with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), where she directed NOAA's Marine Mammal and Turtle Research Division in La Jolla, CA, providing scientific leadership and oversight of a division consisting of 70 scientists with a $9M annual budget, and was Chief Scientist of NOAA's Eastern Tropical Pacific Dolphin and Ecosystem Assessment Surveys, which provided the scientific basis for the "Dolphin Safe" label found on tuna cans in supermarkets all over this country. Dr. Ballance holds a PhD in marine ecology, an MS in marine science, and a BS in biology. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, working papers, and technical reports; given invited scientific presentations at scientific conferences, universities, public lectures, and congressional briefings; been awarded research funding from a wide variety of sources including National Science Foundation, US Navy, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; and is recipient of the Department of Commerce Bronze and Silver Medals, NOAA Fisheries' Supervisor of the Year, and cover feature of the Association for Women in Science.