Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Ellen Coombs

Buck Postdoctoral Fellow
Department / Division
  • Ph.D. University College London and Natural History Museum, London 
  • MRes University College London 
  • MSc University of Oxford 
  • BSc University of York 
Additional Resources
Research Interests

My research is focused on cetacean (whale, dolphin, and porpoise) ecology and evolution. My research as a Buck Fellow centres on quantifying the relationships and trade-offs between mandible (jaw) morphology, prey, sensory function, and echolocation in toothed whales.

I also hope to increase knowledge and understanding of data deficient killer whale (Orcinus orca) populations with a focus on whether mandible morphology and echolocation drive prey selection within a single species. Importantly, studying the diet, functional morphology, and unique behaviour of apex predators like toothed whales is crucial to better understanding ecosystem processes that could help manage changing marine environments.