Dawn Noren joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in May of 2003. Previously, Dawn was a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory at the NOAA NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, WA, where she conducted research on Steller sea lion juvenile body condition, fasting physiology, and diving. Dawn received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation focused on elephant seal body condition, thermoregulation, and fasting physiology. She also earned an M.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. For her master's thesis, she investigated the physiology of diving and thermoregulation in bottlenose dolphins. Dawn earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences with and emphasis in Marine Sciences from the University of Maryland.
Dawn is a physiological ecologist whose primary research interests include: 1) energetics and metabolism, 2) assessment of body condition, 3) diving physiology, 4) anthropogenic impacts, and 5) contaminants. Her current work mainly focuses on killer whale energetics, the effects of vessels and sound on odontocete (toothed whales and dolphins) behavior and energetics, and the transfer of contaminants from female odontocetes to their calves. Dawn's research also includes investigating Southern Resident killer whale habitat use patterns in their designated summer core critical habitat, assessing killer whale body condition, and characterizing muscle biochemistry to assess diving capabilities of local harbor porpoise and several killer whale ecotypes.