Marine Mammal Stranding Program

Lab publications

beaked whale on the beach

UNCW stranding program volunteers investigate a beaked whale

Below are some articles on marine mammals written by members of our lab! Student names are in bold.

Bagge, L.E., Koopman, H. N., Rommel, S. A., McLellan, W. A., and D. A. Pabst. 2012. Lipid class and depth-specific thermal properties in the blubber of the short-finned pilot whale and the pygmy sperm whale. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 4330-4339.

Costidis, A., Berman, M., Cole. T., Knowlton, A., McLellan, W. Neilson, J., Pabst, D., and Raverty, S. 2013. Sharp-trauma by vessel collisions with pinnipeds and cetaceans. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 103:251-256.

Cummings, E.W., Pabst, D.A., Blum, J.E., Barco, S.G., Davis, S.J., Thayer, V.G., Adimey, N., and W.A. McLellan. 2014. Spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use and mortality of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) in the Mid-Atlantic States of North Carolina and Virginia from 1991 to 2012. Aquatic Mammals. 40(2):126-138.

Dunkin, R.C., McLellan, W.A., Blum, J. and D.A. Pabst. 2010. The buoyancy of the integument of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Effects of growth, reproduction and nutritional state. Marine Mammal Science. 26(3):573-587.

Kielhorn, C.E., Dillaman, R.M., Kinsey, S.T., McLellan, W.A., Gay, D.M., Dearolf, J.L. and D.A. Pabst. 2013. Locomotor muscle profile of a deep (Kogia breviceps) versus shallow (Tursiops truncatus) diving cetacean. Journal of Morphology. 274:663-675.

McLellan, W.A., Berman, M., Cole. T., Costidis, A., Knowlton, A., Neilson, J., Pabst, D., and Raverty, S. 2013. Blunt force trauma induced by vessel collisions with large whales. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 103:245-25.

McLellan, W.A., Arthur, L. A., Mallette, S.D., Thornton, S.W., McAlarney, R.J., Read, A.J., and D.A. Pabst. 2014. Longline hook testing in the mouths of pelagic odontocetes. ICES Journal of Marine Science. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsu181

Piscitelli, M.A., McLellan, W.A., Rommel, S.A., Blum, J., Barco, S.G. and D.A. Pabst .2010. Lung size and thoracic morphology in shallow (Tursiops truncatus) and deep (Kogia spp.) diving cetaceans. Journal of Morphology. 269:1520-1538.

Staudinger, M.D., R. McAlarney, W. A. McLellan, and D.A. Pabst. 2014. Foraging ecology and niche segregation in pygmy (Kogia breviceps) and dwarf (Kogia sima) sperm whales from waters of the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. Marine Mammal Science. 30(2): 626-655.

Velten, B.P., Dillaman, R. M., Kinsey, S. T., McLellan, W. A. and D. A. Pabst. 2013. Novel locomotor muscle design in extreme deep-diving whales. Journal of Experimental Biology. 216:1862-1871..

Yordy, J.E., Pabst, D.A., McLellan, W.A., Wells, R.S., Rowles, T., and J. Kucklick. 2010. Tissue-specific distribution and whole body burden estimates of persistent organic pollutants in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 29(6):1263-1273.

Seasonal abundance and distribution patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) near St. Joseph Bay, Florida, USA - Balmer et al., 2008

Using infrared thermography to assess seasonal trends in dorsal fin surface temperatures of free-swimming bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida - Barbieri et al., 2010

Local abundance and distribution of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the nearshore waters of Virginia Beach, VA - Barco et al., 1999

Population identity of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the waters of the US mid-Atlantic states - Barco et al., 2002

Gross and histologic evidence of sharp and blunt trauma in North Atlantic Right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) killed by vessels - Campbell-Malone et al., 2008

The Gross Morphology and Histochemistry of Respiratory Muscles in Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus - Cotten et al., 2008

Precocial development of axial locomotor muscle in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Dearolf et al., 2000

The ontogenetic changes in the thermal properties of blubber from Atlantic bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus - Dunkin et al., 2005

Evidence for infanticide in bottlenose dolphins of the western north Atlantic - Dunn et al., 2002

Postural role of lateral axial muscles in developing bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Etnier et al., 2004

Ontogenetic changes in the structural stiffness of the tailstock of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Etnier et al., 2008

Domoic acid exposure in pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (Kogia spp.) from southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. waters - Fire et al., 2009

Characterising an interaction between coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and the spot gillnet fishery in southeastern North Carolina, USA - Friedlaender et al., 2002

Structural fiber reinforcement of keel blubber in harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) - Hamilton et al., 2004

Morphology of the melon and its tendinous connections to the facial muscles in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Harper et al., 2008

Bartonella species detection in captive, stranded and free-ranging cetaceans- Harms et al., 2008[The original publication is available at]

Skin density and its influence on buoyancy in the manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) - Kipps et al., 2002

Changes in blubber distribution and morphology associated with starvation in the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena): Evidence for regional differences in blubber structure and function - Koopman et al., 2002

North Atlantic right whales in crisis - Kraus et al., 2005

Strandings: A glimpse into the lives of marine mammals - McLellan, 1989

Stingray spine mortality in a bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, from North Carolina waters - McLellan et al., 1996

Analysing 25 years of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) strandings along the Atlantic coast of the USA: do historic records support the coastal migratory stock hypothesis? - McLellan et al., 2002

Ontogenetic allometry and body composition of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena, L.) from the western North Atlantic - McLellan et al., 2002

The relationship between heat flow and vasculature in the dorsal fin of wild bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus - Meagher et al., 2002

Seasonal patterns of heat loss in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Meagher et al., 2008

Neuroanatomy of the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) as revealed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Marino et al., 2002

Anatomical description of an infant bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) brain from Magnetic Resonance Images - Marino et al., 2004

Intramuscular morphology and tendon geometry of the epaxial swimming muscles of dolphins - Pabst, 1993

Thermoregulation of the intra-abdominal testes of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) during exercise - Pabst et al., 1995

Lung Size and Thoracic Morphology in Shallow- and Deep-Diving Cetaceans - Piscitelli et al., 2010

Reproductive thermoregulation in marine mammals - Rommel et al., 1998

Elements of beaked whale anatomy and diving physiology and some hypothetical causes of sonar-related stranding - Rommel et al., 2006

Lobomycosis in Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), North Carolina - Rotstein et al., 2009

Surf and Turf: Approaching single and multiple die-offs of free-living species - Rotstein et al., 2006

Blubber development in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - Struntz et al., 2004

Seasonal distribution and relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, along the US mid-Atlantic Coast - Torres et al., 2005

A new device to remotely measure heat flux and skin temperature from free-swimming dolphins - Westgate et al., 2007

Running, swimming, and diving modifies neuroprotecting globins in the mammalian brain - Williams et al., 2007