People Directory : Michelle Shero

Michelle Shero

Michelle Shero

Assistant Scientist


Office Phone: +1 508 289 3961

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WHOI Mailing Address:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

266 Woods Hole Rd.

MS# 50

Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050


Ph.D., Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks (joint with Anchorage campus), Marine Biology 2011-2015, Advisors: Dr. Jennifer Burns (co-advised with Dr. Jo-Ann Mellish, UAF) Dissertation: To pup or not to pup? Using physiology and dive behavior to answer the Weddell seal’s overwinter question.

B.A., St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Biology with minor in Environmental Studies 2007-2010. Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Research Interests

How is an animal expected to be able to “make a living” in an ever-changing environment? – and why are some animals more successful, that is, survive and reproduce more than others? These are the types of questions I’ve sought to answer through my research. My research focuses on the linkages between energy balance and physiological condition, behavior, and reproductive success. Understanding how these are ultimately linked with complex, multifaceted traits such as performance and life-long animal fitness has important implications for population dynamics and conservation. Thus, my research has proceeded among three lines: 1) understanding how marine mammals’ physiological plasticity allows them to cope with dramatic environmental changes, 2) how condition is linked with dive capacities and foraging behavior, and 3) determining how physiological and behavioral shifts contribute to reproductive success and life-long fitness.