Shawn Hannah

Shawn Hannah

I graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Biological Science concentrating in Marine Science and Conservation. During my undergraduate studies, I took part in research with tropical coral fish, range-size studies of temperate fish, male elephant seal population surveys and pathology of marine mammals. It was my time working at The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) doing animal husbandry and rescue that solidified my desire to pursue work with wild marine mammals. When I began interning in the Vertebrate Ecology Lab at MLML, I had the opportunity to assist other students in a variety of projects. This included humpback whale identification, UCSC elephant seal monitoring, Risso’s dolphin vocalization and identification, as well as the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. 

Currently, I am a second year graduate student at MLML. For my thesis I am studying northern elephant seals and their natural diving physiology. This includes recording their heart rate throughout natural dives and comparing it to their dive depth, duration, and movement. This research will give us insight into how these incredible divers are capable of long duration dives and how they are managing their oxygen.