The CARMMHA consortium will aim to publish over a dozen peer-reviewed manuscripts in scientific journals and also present our findings at scientific conferences.

The results of the thematic projects and dolphin health assessments will be integrated into models to predict the recovery trajectory of cetacean populations following the DWH spill.  These models will be of particular interest to researchers in the marine mammal scientific community.

Another one of the more broadly applicable areas of research to be pursued by the consortium is the examination of potential oil-related cardiotoxicity in dolphins. This will not only be of great interest to wildlife researchers who are exploring similar effects in other marine species but also to human health researchers due to the similarity of marine mammal and human exposure routes (i.e. inhalation) and conserved mammalian physiology.

Relevant publications from consortium members


  • Herrman, Jean M., et al. “Age determination of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using dental radiography pulp: tooth area ratio measurements.” Plos one 15.11 (2020): e0242273.
  • McFee, Wayne E., et al. “Occurrence of Brucella ceti in stranded bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus coincides with calving season.” Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 141 (2020): 185-193.
  • Linnehan, Barbara K., et al. “Standardization of Dolphin Cardiac Auscultation and Characterization of Heart Murmurs in Managed and Free-Ranging Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7 (2020): 844.
  • Barratclough, Ashley, et al. “Pregnancy profiles in the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): Clinical biochemical and hematological variations during healthy gestation and a successful outcome.” Theriogenology 142 (2020): 92-103.
  • Galligan, Thomas M., et al. “Blubber steroid hormone profiles as indicators of physiological state in free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 239 (2020): 110583.
  • Ivančić, Marina, et al. “Ultrasonographic findings associated with normal pregnancy and fetal well‐being in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).” Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound (2020).


  • De Guise, Sylvain, et al. “T Helper Cell Subsets and Their Functions in Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).” Frontiers in immunology 10 (2019): 1578.
  • Barratclough, Ashley, et al. “Health Assessments of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus): Past, Present, and Potential Conservation Applications.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 6 (2019).
  • Barratclough, Ashley, et al. “Radiographic assessment of pectoral flipper bone maturation in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), as a novel technique to accurately estimate chronological age.” PloS one 14.9 (2019).
  • Boggs, Ashley SP, et al. “Remote blubber sampling paired with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for steroidal endocrinology in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).” General and comparative endocrinology 281 (2019): 164-172.
  • Galligan, Thomas M., et al. “Examining the Relationships Between Blubber Steroid Hormone and Persistent Organic Pollutant Measurements in Common Bottlenose Dolphins.” Environmental Pollution 249.Environmental Pollution (2019).
  • Thompson, Jaime W., et al. “finFindR: Computer-assisted Recognition and Identification of Bottlenose Dolphin Photos in R.” bioRxiv (2019): 825661.


  • Hornsby, Fawn E., et al. “Using salinity to identify common bottlenose dolphin habitat in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, USA.” Endangered Species Research 33 (2017): 181-192.
  • Thomas, L., et al. “Where were they from? Modelling the source stock of dolphins stranded after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using genetic and stable isotope data.” Endangered Species Research 33 (2017): 253-264.
  • R. Takeshita et al., The Deepwater Horizon oil spill marine mammal injury assessment. Endang Species Res 33, 95-106 (2017).
  • C. R. Smith et al., Slow recovery of Barataria Bay dolphin health following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2013-2014), with evidence of persistent lung disease and impaired stress response. Endang Species Res 33, 127-142 (2017).
  • P. E. Rosel et al., Genetic assignment to stock of stranded common bottlenose dolphins in southeastern Louisiana after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Endang Species Res 33, 221-234 (2017).
  • S. De Guise et al., Changes in immune functions in bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Endangered Species Research 33 (2017): 291-303.
  • N. M. Kellar et al., Low reproductive success rates of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in the northern Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster (2010-2015). Endang Specie Res 33, 143-158 (2017).
  • T. L. McDonald et al., Survival, density, and abundance of common bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay (USA) following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Endang Species Res 33, 193-209 (2017).
  • L. H. Schwacke et al., Quantifying injury to common bottlenose dolphins from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using an age-, sex- and class-structured population model. Endang Species Res 33, 265-27 (2017).
  • A. A. Hohn et al., Assigning stranded bottlenose dolphins to source stocks using stable isotope ratio following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Endang Species Res 33, 235-252 (2017).


  • DWH NRDA Trustees, “Deepwater Horizon oil spill: final programmatic damage assessment an restoration plan (PDARP) and final programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS),” (Retrieve from http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan, 2016).
  • B. C. Balmer et al., Assessing threats from multiple stressors on coastal and estuarine bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in southern waters. Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAMMS). 1-3 April 2016. Savannah, GA. (2016).
  • Trustees, Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Final programmatic damage assessment and restoration plan an final programmatic environmental impact statement. Technical report. Retrieved from http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan. (2016).
  • D. H. N. R. D. A. Trustees., “Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. Retrieved fro http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan., (2016).
  • K. M. Colegrove et al., Fetal distress and in utero pneumonia in perinatal dolphins during the Northern Gulf of Mexico unusual mortality event. Dis Aqua Org 119, 1-16 (2016).
  • B. Balmer et al., Extended movements of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) along the northern Gulf of Mexico’s central coast. Gulf Mex Sci 33, 93-97 (2016).


  • Deepwater Horizon Marine Mammal Injury Quantification Team, “Models and Analyses for the Quantification of Injury to Gulf of Mexico Cetaceans from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,” Technica report. MM_TR.01_Schwacke_Quantification.of.lnjury.to.GOM.Cetaceans, (Retrieved fro https://www.fws.gov/doiddata/dwh-ar-documents/876/DWH-AR0105866.pdf, 2015).
  • S. Venn-Watson et al., Adrenal gland and lung lesions in Gulf of Mexico common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) found dead following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. PLoS One 10, e012653 (2015).


  • B. C. Balmer et al., Advances in cetacean telemetry: a review of single-pin transmitter attachment techniques on small cetaceans. Mar Mamm Sci 30, 656-673 (2014).
  • L. H. Schwacke et al., Health of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Barataria Bay Louisiana, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environ Sci Technol 48, 93-103 (2014).


  • L. Hart, R. Wells, L. Schwacke, Body mass index and maximum girth reference ranges for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the southeastern United States. Aquat Biol 18, 6 (2013).


  • L. H. Schwacke et al., Anaemia, hypothyroidism and immune suppression associated with polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Proc Biol Sci 279, 48 57 (2012).
  • C. Smith et al., Pulmonary ultrasound findings in a bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus population Dis Aquat Organ 101, 243-255 (2012).
  • R. H. Carmichael, W. M. Graham, A. Aven, G. Worthy, S. Howden, Were multiple stressors a ‘perfect storm’ for northern Gulf of Mexico bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in 2011? PLoS One 7 e41155 (2012).


  • L. H. Schwacke et al., Eosinophilia and biotoxin exposure in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus from a coastal area impacted by repeated mortality events. Environ Res 110, 548-555 (2010).


  • L. H. Schwacke et al., Hematologic and serum biochemical reference intervals for free-rangin common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and variation in the distributions of clinicopathologic values related to geographic sampling site. Am J Vet Res 70, 973-985 (2009).


  • R. S. Wells et al., Bottlenose dolphins as marine ecosystem sentinels: Developing a health monitoring system. EcoHealth 1, 246-254 (2004).