Martin Tournier

Martin Tournier









Ocean depths have an indubitably strong fascinating power, and this sparked my main research interests. My interests lie in studying diving vertebrates' behavior and, more specifically, in understanding how the oceanic dynamic environments affect their movement and foraging strategies. I mostly use data from biologging tools attached to the diving animals to model their habitat use, as they can provide high resolution on their environment.

I earned my Ph.D. in France from the University of La Rochelle, where I studied the deep diving foraging behaviors of Southern elephant seals and beaked whales. By using a diverse set of biologging data, I was able to model their tridimensional habitat.

I am joining the NSF-funded project led by Dr. McDonald to investigate the habitat use of the post-breeding Emperor Penguins and infer which of the climatological and oceanic conditions affect their diving and foraging strategies.

martin.tournier [at]

Welcome to the new VEL post-doc, Martin Tournier!

The Vertebrate Ecology Lab is excited to welcome our new post-doctoral researcher, Martin Tournier. Martin will be working on an NSF-funded project investigating the physiological and behavioral ecology of emperor penguin.

Martin comes from France, where he completed two MS degrees in Oceanography and Marine Ecology, and Ecological Modelling. He got his Ph.D. from La Rochelle Université where his work focused on characterizing the habitat of deep-diving mammals. He worked with active acoustic data obtained from dataloggers that were deployed on southern elephant seals. He developed novel mathematical approaches to model the three-dimensional habitat of elephant seals.

While interested in many aspects of marine ecology, his primary research interest is to investigate the different diving and foraging strategies displayed by marine predators, both within and among species, with the goal of determining how environmental forcing will influence behavior on short and long-term scales. This knowledge will provide insights into how their 3-dimensional habitats are changing and how predators may respond to these changes. He is thrilled to address some of these questions with Emperor Penguins in the Vertebrate Ecology Lab. As a student, he helped to organize conferences, and he hopes to organize some short technical workshops during his time here. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time sailing, diving, cooking & baking, and hiking.

You can read more about Martin here.

Caitie Kroeger

Caitie Kroeger













My research is primarily centered on understanding the direct and indirect effects of oceanic and climatological forcing on the energy balance, movement patterns, and distributions of marine vertebrates.

I earned my Ph.D. in Ocean Science from the University of California Santa Cruz, where I studied the ecophysiology of sub-Antarctic albatrosses and co-founded a science communication group. More recently, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Farallon Institute in Petaluma, studying the effects of marine mesoscale eddies on structuring plankton and seabird communities and using spatial-temporal models to map seabird distributions for oil-spill risk assessment. At MLML, I have joined an NSF-funded project investigating the physiological and behavioral ecology of Emperor Penguins, where I will apply my expertise in statistical modeling and programming to assess penguin habitat use.