Marine Wildlife

Maine is home to some of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. Within these are very important organisms, many of which we call “indicator species,” as their health tends to correlate with the health of the ecosystem as a whole. 

The Shaw Institute has a long history of studying indicator species, such as seals, porpoises, and whales. This research includes studying the presence of PFAS chemicals, flame retardants, and other pollutants within these important organisms. 

Designated as a stranding response volunteer for Allied Whale, the Institute responds to ocean animals in distress or needing rescue. Necropsies are performed in the event of death and tissue samples added to the Institute’s tissue bank for ongoing research analysis.


Research Staff

Charles Rolsky, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Senior Research Scientist

Michelle Berger, MA, GCPH
Associate Scientist