David Rosen

David Rosen MMRu

Assistant Professor

Tel: 604.822.8184
Fax: 604.822.8180
Education: BSc Marine Biology (University of Guelph); MSc and PhD Biopsychology (Memorial University of Nfld)
Research Interests: conservation physiology of marine mammals, bioenergetics, animal nutrition

Professional Credentials:

Assistant Professor UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Director Marine Mammal Energetics and Nutrition Laboratory
Researcher Vancouver Aquarium
Editor Aquatic Mammals
Review Editor Frontiers in Aquatic Physiology

Research Philosophy:

My central scientific paradigm is that an animal’s physiology and behaviour interact to satisfy the demands of the environment and the necessities of its life history. My main research interest is in the conservation physiology of marine mammals to provide science-based management, protection, and recovery.

What does this mean? Changes in the environment directly affect individuals, not populations. Therefore, in order to understand or predict how current or future disturbances will affect marine mammal populations, we need to study the effect of these conditions on the health and physiology of individual animals. This can be done through observations in the field, or through controlled experiments in the laboratory. Ultimately, this knowledge can be used to protect and manage species in the wild.

Research Approach:

My research focuses primarily in the areas of marine mammal bioenergetics, physiology, and nutrition. I  have studied a range of species, including Steller sea lions, northern fur seals,  harbour seals, and ice seals.

The main tool of the Marine Mammal Energetics and Nutrition Laboratory is conducting empirical studies with marine mammals temporarily or permanently under human care.  The goal is to to understand the consequences of changes in the biotic and physical environment on wild  marine mammals in order to conserve their populations.

Graduate Student Opportunities: I generally co-supervise one to two students per year through the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries or the Department of Zoology. Prospective students should contact me directly before applying.


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