Donald B.


Emeritus faculty
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Research statement

My research has centered on the population dynamics of large mammals. I have considered the population characteristics of three species of Antarctic seals, concentrating on a long-term program on Weddell seals with shorter term studies on the crabeater and leopard seals of the Antarctic. I have also studied sea otters in Alaska and California since 1975.

I was involved, before my retirement, with several scientific committees involving national programs and problems. These included: Convenor for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Group of Specialists on Seals; U.S. Representative, SCAR Working Group on Biology, member California Sea Otter Recovery Team for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and member recovery team for Northern Sea Lion for National Marine Fisheries Service. Since retirement I do serve on the Monk Seal recovery team for the NMFS, and do a small amount of consulting.

Selected publications

Melin, S. R., J.L. Laake, R.. DeLong and D.B. Siniff . 2012.  Age-specific recruitment and natality of California sea lions at San Miguel Island, California. Marine Mammal  Science, 28:751-776.

LaRue, M.A., J.J. Rotella, R.A. Garrott, D.B. Siniff, D. Ainley, G.E. Stauffer,  C.C. Porter, and P.J. Morin. 2011.  Satellite imagery can be used to detect  spatial and temporal variation in abundance of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes  weddellii) in Erebus Bay, Antarctica. Polar Biology 34: in press.

Blight, L.K., D.G. Ainley, S.F. Ackley, G. Ballard, T. Ballerini, R.L. Brownell,  C.H.C. Cheng, M. Chiantore, D. Costa, M.C. Coulter, P. Dayton, A.L. Devries, R. Dunbar, S. Earle, J.T. Eastman, S.D. Emslie, C.W. Evans, R.A. Garrott, S. Kim, G. Kooyman, A. Lescroel, M. Lizotte, M. Massaro, S. Olmastroni, P.J. Ponganis, J. Russell, D.B. Siniff, W.O. Smith, B.S. Stewart, I. Stirling, J. Willis, P. Wilson, and E.J. Woehler. 2010.  Fishing for Data in the Ross Sea. Science,  330:1316-1316.

Gelatt, T.S. ,C.S.Davis, I Stirling, D. B. Siniff, C. Strobeck, and I. Delisle. 2009.  History  and fate of a small isolated population of Weddell seals at White Island, Antarctica. Conservation Genetics.

Siniff, D.B., R.A. Garrott, J.J. Rotella, W.R. Fraser and D.G. Ainley. 2008. Projuecting the effects of environmental change on Antarctic Seals. Antarctic Science  20(5):425-435.

Cameron, M.F., D.B. Siniff, K.M. Proffitt, and R.A. Garrott.  2007.  Site fidelity of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii):  the effects of sex and age.  Antaractic Sci. 19:149-155.

Proffitt, K. M., R. A. Garrott, J. J. Rotella, D. B. Siniff, and J. W. Testa.  2007. Exploring linkage between abiotic oceanographic processes and a top-trophic predator in an Antarctic ecosystem. Ecosystems 10:119–126.

Ballance, L. T., R. L. Pitman, R. P. Hewitt, D. B. Siniff, W. Z. Trivelpiece, P. J. Clapham, and R. L. Brownell, Jr. 2006. The removal of large whales from the Southern Ocean: evidence for long term ecosystem effects? Pages 215-230. In J. A. Estes, D. P. DeMaster, D. F. Doak, T. M. Williams, and R. L. Brownell, Jr. (editors), Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems.   California Press,  Berkeley

Bowen, D., and D. Siniff. 1999. Distribution, population biology, and feeding ecology of marine mammals. In Biology of Marine Mammals. J.E. Reynolds and S.A. Rommel, eds. Smithsonian Press. pp. 423-484.

Brody, A.J., K. Ralls, and D. Siniff. 1996. Potential impact of oil spills on California sea otters: Implications of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Marine Mammal Science 12(1):38-53.