Skip to main content
  • Textbook
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Marine Mammals

A Deep Dive into the World of Science

  • Highly-readable Open Access introduction to marine mammal biology and medicine

  • Presents career pathways of marine scientists illustrated by exciting case studies

  • Discusses human-derived threats to oceans and animals

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages I-X
  2. Who Are the Marine Mammals?

    • Krishna Das, Helen Sköld, Anna Lorenz, Eric Parmentier
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. Marine Mammal Acoustics

    • Anja Reckendorf, Lars Seidelin, Magnus Wahlberg
    Pages 15-31Open Access
  4. Whaling, Seal Hunting and the Effect of Fisheries on Marine Mammals

    • Mikołaj Koss, Martin Stjernstedt, Iwona Pawliczka, Anja Reckendorf, Ursula Siebert
    Pages 33-47Open Access
  5. Plastic Debris and Its Impacts on Marine Mammals

    • Katrin Kruse, Katrin Knickmeier, Dennis Brennecke, Bianca Unger, Ursula Siebert
    Pages 49-62Open Access
  6. Chemical Pollution and Diseases of Marine Mammals

    • Anja Reckendorf, Ursula Siebert, Eric Parmentier, Krishna Das
    Pages 63-78Open Access
  7. How to Become a Marine Mammal Scientist

    • Katrin Knickmeier, Anja Reckendorf, Dennis Brennecke
    Pages 79-89Open Access
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 91-95

About this book

This highly-readable Open Access textbook provides basic background information about marine mammals and anthropogenic impacts on them. The book includes inspiring exercises for education school programs in natural sciences. The book also provides advice on career paths using case studies of marine scientists and veterinarians describing their journeys from student to profession. By sharing real-life career paths, readers find answers to questions such as “What needs to be considered when choosing a career in science?” and “What kind of tasks do scientists undertake on a daily basis?”

Marine mammals are amongst some of the most celebrated creatures on Earth, with their high intelligence, social and communicating skills, and capacity for deep diving. Alongside general information about marine mammals, the book aims at generating awareness of the impact of litter and noise pollution on the marine environment using marine mammals as an example. Huge numbers of marine animals, including marine mammals, die every year from entanglement in fishing gear, by ingestion of litter or because of chemical pollution. 

In the last decade many technological and scientific tools have been developed to aid research, for instance miniaturised sound recorders which can be attached to cetaceans and seals and record noise levels around them, their vocal production as well as their diving behaviour. 

This Open Access textbook can be used by undergraduate students interested in the fundamentals of marine mammal biology and medicine, and in pursuing the profession of a marine scientist. 


  • Open Access
  • infectious diseases
  • veterinarian job profile
  • global change
  • whale medicine
  • oceanography

Editors and Affiliations

  • Kieler Forschungswerkstatt, Kiel University and Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany

    Dennis Brennecke, Katrin Knickmeier

  • Prof. Krzysztof Skora Hel Marine Station, Faculty of Oceanography and Geography, University of Gdansk, Hel, Poland

    Iwona Pawliczka

  • Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Foundation, Büsum, Germany

    Ursula Siebert

  • Marine Biological Research Center, University of Southern Denmark, Kerteminde, Denmark

    Magnus Wahlberg

About the editors

Dennis Brennecke graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Rostock and completed his Master of Science in biological oceanography at GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany). He is a doctoral candidate through the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, and the University of Southern Denmark, with main focus on the bycatch of harbour porpoises. He is also part of an European citizen science project (Plastic Pirates – GO EUROPE) and the leader of the ocean:lab at Kiel Science factory belonging to the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel (Germany).

Katrin Knickmeier studied biological oceanography, marine chemistry and zoology at the University of Kiel, Germany. She worked at the Institute for Polar Ecology, University of Kiel and participated in numerous scientific expeditions to the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and the Amazon. During her Ph.D. she worked on plankton at the rocky coasts of Chile in Coquimbo (Universidad Catolica del Norte). She coordinates a European citizen science project (Plastic Pirates – GO EUROPE) and is the leader of Kiel Science factory, belonging to the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and the University of Kiel (Germany).

Iwona Pawliczka studied oceanography and marine biology at the University of Gdańsk, Poland. As a student she initiated research on harbour porpoises in Poland. She continued with research at Hel Marine Station, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk. She initiated a seal rehabilitation project and leads the marine station’s grey seal recovery project. She got her PhD in oceanology at the University of Gdańsk, studying the status, biology and threats to harbour porpoise in Polish waters. She has been a leader of citizen science projects that successfully initiated a marine mammal stranding scheme in Poland. Iwona is Assistant Professor and academic teacher at the University of Gdańsk and a head of Hel Marine Station, which runs several research and education projects with special emphasis on marine  mammal – fishery conflicts.

Ursula Siebert studied veterinary medicine at the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen (JLU) (Germany) and the Ecole National Vétérinaire de Nantes (France). She conducted her PhD in Ecotoxicology and the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) and the JLU and specialist further in pathology and aquaculture. She was leader for the research group for marine mammals and sea birds at the Research and Technology Center Westcoast, Christian-Albrechts-University (CAU) of Kiel (Germany) and was responsible veterinarian for harbour porpoises and seals at Fjord&Bælt (Denmark). She habilitated in the field of zoology on anthropogenic effects on marine mammals at the CAU. Since 2011 she is the director of the newly founded Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research at the University of Veterinary Medicine. She is Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine – Wildlife Population Health and Diplomate of the European College of Aquatic Animal Health. She is honory professor at the Aarhus University Denmark since 2014.

Magnus Wahlberg studied physics and biology at Göteborg University (Sweden). He worked on seal-fishery conflicts at the Institute of Coastal Research (Sweden) and as a high school teacher. He got his PhD in marine bioacoustics at the University of Southern Denmark, with main focus on sperm whale sound production. After post docs and research visits at Aarhus University (Denmark), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (US) and Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory (Sweden), Magnus worked as scientist at Fjord&Bælt (Denmark), with special emphasis on harbour porpoise bioacoustics. He is Associate Professor (University of Southern Denmark) and daily leader of the Marine Biological Research Center in Kerteminde, Denmark, specializing in the acoustic behaviour and hearing of marine mammals.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Marine Mammals

  • Book Subtitle: A Deep Dive into the World of Science

  • Editors: Dennis Brennecke, Katrin Knickmeier, Iwona Pawliczka, Ursula Siebert, Magnus Wahlberg

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editors and the Authors 2023

  • License: CC BY

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-06835-5Published: 02 January 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-06836-2Published: 01 January 2023

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 95

  • Number of Illustrations: 2 b/w illustrations, 30 illustrations in colour

  • Additional Information: 'Results incorporated in this standard have received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 710708

  • Topics: Zoology, Veterinary Science, Freshwater and Marine Ecology

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)