Research Interests:Since 2003 I have worked at NOAA assisting in the development and implementation of a technique to extract molecular biomarkers from marine mammal blubber in order to gather valuable life history and health information. Our primary focus was primarily pregnancy diagnosis in free-ranging cetaceans but we have begun investigating new areas of research, such as chronic stress and other indicators of health in marine mammals. My role in the marine mammal molecular life history group is to conduct and manage lab work on marine mammal endocrinology. In addition to life history research, I have expanded my laboratory repertoire to include several different genetic techniques. I take part in fieldwork when possible where I have learned to biopsy marine mammals, perform marine mammal necropsies, and assist with counts of migrating gray whales. My graduate research will focus on the use of novel endocrine biomarkers in marine mammal ecotoxicology research to investigate the effects of contaminants on marine mammals in the Southern California Bight.
- Ph.D. Student in Ecology at San Diego State University/ University of California, Davis.
- B.S. Biology: Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology; University of California, San Diego (2005)
- Trego, M. L., Kellar, N. M., and Danil, K. (2013) Validation of blubber progesterone concentrations for pregnancy determination in three dolphin species and a porpoise. PloS one 8:e69709
- Kellar, N. M., Trego, M. L., Chivers, S. J., and Archer, F. I. (2013) Pregnancy patterns of pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) in the eastern tropical Pacific determined from hormonal analysis of blubber biopsies and correlations with the purse-seine tuna fishery. Marine Biology:1–12.
- Kellar, N. M., Trego, M. L., Chivers, S. J., Arhcer, F. I., Minich, J. J., and Perryman, W. L. (2013) Are there biases in biopsy sampling? Potential drivers of sex ratio in projectile biopsy samples from two small delphinids. Marine Mammal Science. doi: 10.1111/mms.12014
- Kellar, N. M., Trego, M. L., Marks, C. I., Chivers, S. J., Danil, K., and Archer, F. I. (2009) Blubber testosterone: a potential marker of male reproductive status in short-beaked common dolphins. Marine Mammal Science 25: 507-522.
- Kellar, N. M., Trego, M. L., Chivers, S. J., and Archer, F. I. (2008) Histological patterns of dolphin corpus luteum growth and development: finding characters to differentiate CLs of ovulation from those of pregnancy. In Marine Biology (University of California, San Diego, La Jolla), p. 35.
- Kellar, N. M., Trego, M. L., Marks, C. I., and Dizon, A. E. (2006) Determining pregnancy from blubber in three species of delphinids. Marine Mammal Science 22:1-16.
Curriculum Vitae File