Dr. Paul Webb
Research Interests
Biology Department
RWU Home








Research Interests

I am interested in the behavioral and physiological ecology of marine vertebrates, particularly the pinnipeds. My recent projects have investigated the harbor seals that frequent Narragansett Bay each winter, including topics like haulout behavior, nocturnal behavior, population size, contaminant levels in stranded seals, and the potential impacts of seals of commercial fish stocks. There are still many fundamental questions that need to be addressed with these local populations, such as: what are these seals eating while in Rhode Island waters? Are these the same animals returning to our area each winter? How much movement is there within the bay? My students and I are attempting to answer some of these questions.

Before coming to RWU I worked with northern elephant seals in California. I was in a research group at UCSC that looked at fasting physiology, diving behavior, migratory and foraging behavior, and population studies of northern elephant seals. My specific focus for my dissertation research was the impact of buoyancy and body composition on the diving behavior of elephant seals. You can visit the Publications and Abstracts sections of this site for the results of some of these studies.