| Science Liaison|
Phone: (858) 546-7148
Fax: (858) 546-7003
- Marine Mammal Genetic Program - Protected Resources Division
Sarah Mesnick is the Science Liaison for the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), an ecologist in the SWFSC’s Protected Resources Division, and co-founder of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, U.C. San Diego. Her research focuses on the behavioral ecology of marine vertebrates in pelagic ecosystems. The main goal of these studies is to provide a behavioral framework within which to investigate population identity, population trends, and fishery interactions in cetaceans. She uses a variety of tools (genetic, acoustic, behavioral, comparative and phylogenetic) and works in the field, laboratory and collaboratively on a number of different marine mammal management issues. The unifying theme of these projects is to bring a behavioral perspective to our understanding of the dynamics of marine mammal populations and human interactions.
As the Center’s Science Liaison, she provides direction and support for the SWFSC’s external relations, the development of cooperative programs and the dissemination of SWFSC’s science. Major activities include: serving as the SWFSC’s liaison with agency and legislative offices, constituents and the public; developing the broader impact of SWFSC science and research programs; and working with individual scientists to build cooperative programs with academia, other governmental agencies and key constituents.
- Mesnick, S.L., Taylor, B.L., Archer, F.I., Martien, K.K., Escorza Trevino, W., Hancock-Hanser, B.L., Moreno Medina, S.C., Pease, V.L., Robertson, K.M., Straley, J.M., Baird, R.W., Calambokidis, J., Schorr, G.S., Wade, P., Burkanov, V., Lunsford, C.R., Rendell, L. and Morin, P.A. 2011. Sperm whale population structure in the eastern and central North Pacific inferred by the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Ecology Resources 11 (Supplement 1): 278–298.
- Barlow, J., Rojas-Bracho, L., Muños, C. and Mesnick, S.L. 2010. Conservation of the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico. In, Handbook of Marine Fisheries (eds., R.Q. Grafton, R.. Hilborn, D. Squires and M. Tait). Pages 205-214. Oxford University Press.
- McDonald, M.A., Hildebrand, J.A. and Mesnick, S.L. 2009. Worldwide decline in tonal frequencies of blue whale songs. Endangered Species Research 9: 13–21.
- Mesnick, S.L. and Ralls, K. 2008. Mating Systems. In, Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Second Edition (eds., W.F. Perrin, B. Würsig and H.G.M. Thewissen). Academic Press. Pages 712-719.
- Ralls, K. and Mesnick, S.L. 2008. Sexual Dimorphism. In, Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Second Edition (eds., W.F. Perrin, B. Würsig and H.G.M. Thewissen). Academic Press. Pages 1005 – 1011.
- Rubio-Cisneros, N., Mesnick, S.L., Vázquez-Juárez, R., Urbán-Ramírez, J., Godard, C.A.J., Payne, R., and Dizon, A.E. 2007. Genetic sex determination supports the Gulf of California as an important habitat for male and female sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 5(2): 125-128.
- Morin, P.A., Aitken, N.C., Rubio-Cisneros, N., Dizon, A.E., and Mesnick, S.L. 2007. Characterization of 18 SNP markers for sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Molecular Ecology Notes online:doi: 10.1111/j.1471-8286.2006.01654.x.
- McDonald, M.A., Mesnick, S.L., and Hildebrand, J.A. 2006. Biogeographic Characterization of Blue Whale Song Worldwide: Using Song to Identify Populations. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8:55-65.
- Mesnick, S.L., Engelhaupt, D., Lyrholm, T., Taylor, B., and Escorza Treviño, S. 2005. Population structure and the social animal: global genetic differentiation in sperm whales. Working Paper CARP/PS&M/1 at the Cachalot Assessment Research Planning (CARP) Workshop, 1-3 March 2005, Woods Hole, MA.
- Morin, P.A., Nestler, A., Rubio-Cisneros, N.T., Robertson, K.M., and Mesnick, S.L. 2005. Interfamilial Characterization of a Region of the ZFX and ZFY Genes Facilitates Gender Determination in Cetaceans and other Mammals. Molecular Ecology 14: 3275-3286.
- Ruiz-Castro, R.I., Gendron, D., Aguíñiga, S., Mesnick, S., and Carriquiry, J.D. 2004. Trophic Relationships between Sperm Whales and Jumbo Squid Using Stable Isotopes of C and N. Marine Ecology Progress Series 277:275-283.
- Reeves, R.R., Perrin, W.F., Taylor, B.L., Baker, C.S., and Mesnick, S.L. 2004. Report of the Workshop on Shortcomings of Cetacean Taxonomy in Relation to Needs of Conservation and Management April 30 – May 2, 2004, La Jolla, California. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-NMFS-SWFSC-363. 94 pp.
- Perrin, W.F. and Mesnick, S.L. 2003. Sexual Ecology of the Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris, Geographic Variation in Mating System. Marine Mammal Science, 19(3):462-483.
- Mesnick, S.L., Evans, K. Taylor, B.L., Hyde, J., Escorza-Treviño, S., and Dizon, A.E. 2003. Sperm Whale Social Structure: Why it Takes a Village to Raise Young. Pages 170-174, In, Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture and Individualized Societies (F.B.M. de Waal and P.L. Tyack, eds.). Harvard University Press.
- Bonness, D., Clapham, P.J., and Mesnick, S.L. 2002. Life History and Reproductive Strategies. In, Marine Mammals: An Evolutionary Approach (ed., R. Hoelzel). Blackwell Science, Ltd. Pp. 278-324.
- Mesnick, S.L. 2001. Genetic Relatedness in Sperm Whales: Evidence and Cultural Implications. Behavior and Brain Science 24(2):346-347.
- Gendron, D. and Mesnick, S.L. 2001. Sloughed Skin: a Method for the Systematic Collection of Tissue Samples from Baja California Blue Whales. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 3:77-79.
- Pitman, R.L., Ballance, L.T., Mesnick, S.L., and Chivers, S. 2001. Killer Whale Predation on Sperm Whales: Observations and Implications for Large Whale Biology. Marine Mammal Science: 17(3):494-507.
- Mesnick, S.L., Clapham, P.J., and Dizon, A.E. 1999. The Collection of Associated Behavioral Data with Biopsy Samples during Cetacean Assessment Cruises. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 1(2): 205-211.
- Mesnick, S. L., Taylor, B.L., Le Duc, R.G., Escorza Treviño, S., O’Corry-Crowe, G.M., and Dizon, A.E. 1999. Culture and Genetic Evolution in Whales. Science, 284: 2055a.