Pages Navigation Menu

Laboratory of Holly Ernest

Sea Otters

Sea Otters

Sea otter

Sea Otter Genetics and Genomics for Disease Ecology

Lab researchers: Nicole Carter, Erick GagneHolly Ernest

Collaborators: Dr. Melissa Miller, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Dr. Erick Gagne, Colorado State University, Dr. Tim Tinker, University of California, Santa Cruz and USGS, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and more.

Sea Otter Population Genetics

Lab researchers: Erick Gagne, Holly Ernest
Collaborators: Dr. Melissa Miller, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Dr. Tim Tinker and Dr. Max Tarjan, University of California, Santa Cruz and USGS; Dr. Katherine Ralls, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Shawn Larson, Seattle Aquarium; Monterey Bay Aquarium

Southern Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) play a key role in the kelp forests along the Central California coast. However the fur trade in the 18th century nearly wiped out the species.

Despite their placement on the Endangered Species List in 1977 the populations have been very slow to recover. Every year many otters fall victim to disease, parasites, pollution and occasionally are injured by humans. Together with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care & Research Center we are working to develop a large and informative suite of genetic markers to help track the flow of disease through the otter populations of California.

 

Sea Otter Publications

 

Sea Otter Resources