Our projects lie intentionally at the intersection of ocean planning, marine ecology & modeling, and inform processes related to the emerging Blue Economy. Our collaborations with regional ocean management organizations, U.S. national and international planning bodies involve providing and informing on species density and distribution, migrations, oceanographic processes, and effects of anthropogenic disturbances on mammals species. Many of our projects apply spatial analysis to solve current challenges facing our ocean.
Ocean Planning & Management
MGEL has been supporting regional and international ocean planning efforts regarding marine conservation issues in the U.S., High Seas, and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). We’ve provided data and technical support for the Ecologically and Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSA) initiative of the Convention of Biological Diversity. Lead the Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT) to represent abundance, biodiversity, and species richness for groups of species— all of these datasets are hosted by MGEL for use by several regional, national, and international portals. Our PhD students are active with Duke University’s involvement in both science and policy engagements in the arena.
MGEL studies the structure and dynamics of marine-life habitats, populations, and interactions among organisms and the surrounding environment. The lab has been developing and delivering marine mammal habitat-based density modeling for an expanding list of regions [The US Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, US Navy Atlantic Fleet Area, the Arctic and Mediterranean], creating open sourcing marine geospatial ecology tools, defining marine turtle high use areas, status of the global ocean and fisheries, and assessing the health of the deep-sea and ecosystems across the full span of the Atlantic Ocean.
Society’s growing need for ocean-derived food, materials, energy, trade, and knowledge is fueling growth in next-generation maritime or “blue” technologies —an emerging idea called the blue economy. MGEL provides geospatial modeling to bring innovative, practical insights to bear on urgent ocean sustainability challenges such as offshore development projects, wind energy, and fisheries.