William McLellan and former graduate student Vicki Stegall
examine a common dolphin
I work with marine mammals to both understand their anatomy and physiology while they are alive, and, ultimately what causes their deaths. Our lab at UNCW conducts live animal field research to look at how marine mammals keep warm and/or cold as the water temperatures vary around them, and how they generate the energy necessary to swim nearly continuously. We also respond to stranded whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals in North Carolina. This work has shown us a great deal of what these animals die from. It is by combining these two avenues of research that we have learned how these animals "work" from the inside out.