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Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias Jubatus)

Biographical Summaries of the Report Writers

Peter Olesiuk is a Research Biologist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo. Since 1989, he has served as Head of the Seal and Sea Lion Program in Pacific Region, except during 2001 when he took leave to serve as Principle Investigator for Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Harbor Seal Program in Alaska. 

Mr. Olesiuk has been studying marine mammals in the North Pacific for over 20 years. His research has focused primarily on pinnipeds (harbour seals, Steller and California sea lions, northern fur seals), and involves surveys and population assessment, feeding habits and energetics, movements and behavioural patterns using telemetry and archival tags, and fisheries interactions. His work has been focused in British Columbia, but he has also conducted work throughout Alaska, and in Washington, Oregon and California. In addition to his work on pinnipeds, he has conducted research on whales and porpoises, and has had a longstanding interest in population biology of killer whales.  

Dr. Andrew Trites is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia and Director of the Marine Mammal Unit at the UBC-Fisheries Centre. He is also the Research Director of the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium, a member of the US Steller Sea Lion Recovery Team, and co-chairs the Marine Mammal Species Subcommittee for COSEWIC.

Dr. Trites has been studying marine mammals in the North Pacific for over 20 years. His current research is primarily focused on pinnipeds (Steller sea lions and northern fur seals), and involves captive studies, field studies and simulation modeling. Some of his work includes modeling the Bering Sea ecosystem, estimating the extent of competition between marine mammals and fisheries, and evaluating the junk-food hypothesis thought by many to explain the decline of Steller sea lions in Alaska. He trains students and collaborates with researchers specializing in other disciplines (such as nutrition, ecology, physiology and oceanography). His graduate students have worked on a variety of subjects including harbour seal genetics, killer whale / vessel interactions, Steller sea lion behavior, pinniped energetics, GIS mapping of marine mammal critical habitat, and predation on salmonids. 

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