NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Dr. Mesnick’s research focuses on social evolution in the ocean and on the role of social behavior in explaining patterns of species diversity. Since receiving her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona (1996) her interests have shifted from marine fishes to mammals. The main goal of her research in recent years is to provide a social framework within which to investigate stock identity, population trends, and fishery interactions in cetaceans. She uses a variety of tools (genetic, acoustic, behavioral, comparative and phylogenetic) and works in collaboration on a number of different management issues. The unifying theme of these projects is to bring a social perspective to our understanding of the dynamics of marine mammal populations to use this knowledge to manage marine mammal populations more effectively. Her research interests include social and sexual ecology, social signals, social and population structure, social bonds and social disruption, and sexual selection.
Sarah is one of the co-founders of CMBC. She serves as liasion between CMBC and NOAA SWFSC and leads our Sustainable Local Fisheries project.