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Leigh Torres

Associate Professor
leigh.torres [at]

Office: 541-867-0895

Hatfield Marine Science Center

Hatfield Marine Science Center 2030 SE Marine Science Drive

Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365

I specialize in the spatial and behavioral ecology of marine megafauna including marine mammals, seabirds and sharks. 

My research often focuses on the spatio-temporal habitat use, distribution and behavioral patterns of a species in relation to environmental variability, prey availability and anthropogenic threats such as fisheries, vessel traffic, climate change, and habitat alterations. 

I am particularly interested in the functional ecology of marine animals including how behavior patterns vary with habitat, how spatial scale impacts predator-prey interactions, how species spatially and behaviorally reduce inter- and intra-specific competition, and how foraging strategies change relative to prey availability and spatio-temporal variability.

  • Documentation and description of a blue whale foraging ground in the South Taranaki Bight, New Zealand
  • Use of albatross telemetry data to generate species distribution models and assess overlap with fisheries
  • Distribution and habitat use patterns of Bryde’s whales in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, relative to vessel traffic
  • Transferability of species distribution models in marine ecosystems across large scales
  • Fine-scale habitat use analyses of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin
  • Citing and efficacy of humpback whale breeding grounds throughout the Pacific islands in the Oceania region based on habitat use patterns