Marine Mammal Biomechanics

My PhD dissertation research focused on understanding potential injury risk from a tidal turbine hitting a marine mammal through marine mammal biomechanics. I performed laboratory experiments post-mortem on material properties of harbor seal, harbor porpoise, dall’s porpoise, and Southern Resident Killer Whale. I modeled these materials in Abaqus finite element analysis software to mimic laboratory material behavior.

Harbor Seal Tensile Tissue Testing


Abaqus Modeling


Published Work

Wang, T., Yang, Z., Wu, W. C., and Grear, M. (2018). A Sensitivity Analysis of the Wind Forcing Effect on the Accuracy of Large-Wave Hindcasting. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 6(4), 139.

Copping, A. E., and Grear, M. E. (2018). Applying a simple model for estimating the likelihood of collision of marine mammals with tidal turbines. International Marine Energy Journal, 1(1 (Aug)), 27-32.

M. Grear, Motley, M., Crofts, S., Witt, A., Summers, A., and Ditsche, P. (2017) Mechanical properties of harbor seal skin and blubber − a test of anisotropy, Zoology.

Copping, A., Grear, M., Jepsen, R., Chartrand, C., & Gorton, A. (2017). Understanding the potential risk to marine mammals from collision with tidal turbines. International Journal of Marine Energy19, 110-123.

Yang, Z., Taraphdar, S., Wang, T., Leung, R.L., Grear, M. (2016) Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation. Natural Hazards.

Copping, A., Breithaupt, S., Whiting, J., Grear, M., Tagestad, J., and Shelton, G. (2016Likelihood of a marine vessel accident from wind energy development in the AtlanticWind Energy, 19: 15571566.

Copping, A., Hanna, L., Whiting, J., Geerlofs, S., Grear, M., Blake, K., Coffey, A., Massaua, M., Brown-Saracino, J., and Battey, H. (2013) Environmental Effects of Marine Energy Development around the World for the OES Annex IV. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Ocean Energy Systems Initiative. Available: .