Marine Mammal Health

The Marine Mammal Health program aims to improve the detection, treatment and prevention of diseases in U.S. Navy marine mammals to ensure the ongoing health and overall longevity of the animals.

The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program began in the 1960s when a variety of species were tested for operational use before eventually settling on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

Research Concentration Areas

  • Prevention, detection, and treatment of infectious diseases
  • Prevention, detection, and treatment of non-infectious diseases
  • Medical management of dolphins and sea lions
  • Clinical and quality of life needs of aging dolphins and sea lions

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Non-invasive means for assessment of general health and welfare in dolphins and sea lions
  • Early detection of marine mammal infectious agents and assessment of their impact on individual animal pathology and population health
  • Body fluid (blood, urine) biomarkers for assessing kidney health in marine mammals
  • Improved understanding of the physical effects of aging in dolphins and sea lions, and methods to delay or prevent, the onset of disease

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Laura Kienker

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 342

Email for Questions: laura.kienker@navy.mil


Program Funding

Submit white papers, QUAD charts and full proposals for contracts to this email address: ONR Code 34 Research Submissions

Follow instructions within BAA for submission of grant proposals to grants.gov website.

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