Meet The Team: Dr. Brian C. Blamer

Dr. Brian C. Blamer, MS, PhD

Dr. Brian C. Balmer has 20+ years of experience studying marine mammals including bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern U.S. and Bermuda, manatees in South Carolina, right whales in Florida, humpback whales in Hawaii and Mexico, and franciscana dolphins in Argentina and Brazil.

Dr. Balmer received his B.Sc. degrees in Wildlife Science and Biology from Virginia Tech (2001, 2002), M.Sc. in Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (2007) and Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (2011). Throughout Dr. Balmer’s career, he has worked for various non-profits organizations and federal contracting companies investigating impacts that anthropogenic stressors, including those associated with Superfund Sites and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, have on protected species.

Dr. Balmer has been the lead or coauthor on 70+ peer-reviewed publications pertaining to marine mammal abundance, biotoxins, contaminants, disease, habitat use, health, management, ranging patterns, and restoration. He is also an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston, Savannah State University, and University of South Alabama in which he has mentored, co-mentored, or been on committee for 12 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.

Dr. Balmer’s research focus is in evaluating ecosystem health by using sentinel species to identify anthropogenic threats and then develop subsequent mitigation and restoration strategies.

Dr. Balmer began his career with terrestrial mammals, studying black bears in southwestern Virginia, with his undergraduate thesis evaluating den reuse rates, before turning to the marine field. Recently, he has shifted his focus back to the terrestrial world and has moved from the low country of the southeastern U.S. to the mountains of the western U.S., where he is involved with projects evaluating impacts of contamination on Montana’s vast natural resources.

In Brian’s spare time, he is still extensively involved with marine mammal research projects and serving on graduate student committees that focus on developing a better understanding of marine mammal biology and potential anthropogenic impacts to these sentinel species.