Marine mammals

A group of researchers who specialise in monitoring sea mammals and studying their behaviour work at the Department of Bioscience. In Denmark, we mainly work with harbour seal, grey seal and porpoises, but we also have projects on pike-headed whales and white-beaked dolphins. In Greenland, we work with ringed seal, walruses and narwhales, among others. Furthermore, we work with polar bears, which is also considered a sea mammal.

Aarhus University has staff with more than 20 years of experience in marine mammal research. Their areas of expertise include satellite tracking of marked animals; air, land and sea-based population counts;  acoustic monitoring; bioacoustics; food selection studies and determination of animals’ exposure to environmental toxins (heavy metals and organic compounds).

The purpose of our research activities is to develop and maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the animals’ basic biology and interactions with human activities such as offshore activities (e.g. offshore wind turbines), tourism, hunting, fishing and oil and mineral mining. Populations of Danish species are monitored continuously. This knowledge is the foundation for the management of marine mammals and for the assessment of the consequences of future changes to the marine environment and the of measures introduced to protect marine mammals.