Marine Mammals and Biology Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Marine Mammals and Biology (MMB) program supports basic and applied research and technology development related to understanding the effects of sound on marine mammals, including physiological, behavioral, ecological effects and population-level effects. Current program thrusts include, but are not limited to:

  1. Monitoring and detection
  2. Integrated ecosystem research (sensor & tag development)
  3. Effects of sound on marine life (behavioral response studies; diving physiology; physiological stress response; hearing; population consequences of acoustic disturbance)
  4. Models and databases for environmental compliance

Important Notice: Upon submitting any documents to MMB by email or, submittors will receive a confirmation email from the MMB program office. If a confirmation email is NOT received, contact the MMB point of contact to verify receipt.

Proposal Timeframe

  • Pre-proposals Due: July 15, 2018
  • Invitation Full Proposal: September/October 2018
  • Full Proposals Due: end of November 2018 (unless otherwise negotiated)
  • Proposal Review / Selection / Notification: December 2018 – February 2019
  • Proposal Funding Date: December 2018 – March 2019 (first portion of federal fiscal year 2019)

The ONR Marine Mammal and Biology program had a program review on Sept. 11, 2017. The topic covered was diving physiology. (Download the Program Review Abstract Book.)

The ONR Marine Mammal and Biology program hosted a program review March 20-23, 2017. Topics covered included monitoring and detection; integrated ecosystems, sensor and tag development, effects of sound - hearing, effects of sound - physiology, and models and databases. (Download the Program Review Abstract Book.)

ONR co-sponsored (other sponsors were Navy’s US Living Marine Resources Program and NOAA) a workshop to review the status and future research needs of the behavioral responses of marine mammals to naval sonar exposure. The workshop was held April 21-22 in Monterey, CA. (Download the Report on the Current Status and Future of Behavioral Response Research.)

ONR sponsored a workshop on Nov. 4-5, 2009, in Arlington, Va., with a report titled "Effects of Stress on Marine Mammals Exposed to Sound." The workshop's purpose was to assemble a cross-section of researchers in the field of stress physiology and behavioral research to identify the state-of-the-art science in stress physiology as it may apply to marine mammals, identify research needs for marine mammal stress-related research, and evaluate available or developing technologies for measuring indicators of stress ultimately in free-ranging marine mammals.

A report titled "Addressing the Effects of Human-Generated Sound on Marine Life: An Integrated Research Plan for U.S. Federal Agencies" was developed in response to an executive agency's request for a focused, coordinated federal science and technology plan from the National Science and Technology Council's Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST).

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Michael Weise

Title: Team Leader

Department: Code 32

Email for Questions:

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