Prof. Nicole Thometz

Nicole Thometz

Assistant Professor

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-4083 Harney Science Center 219H


Dr. Nicole Thometz is a broadly trained physiological ecologist who specializes in marine mammal physiology, ecology, and behavior. She has spent her career studying the ontogeny of energy demands, development of diving capacities, reproductive energetics, and foraging behavior of southern sea otters.

In addition, Dr. Thometz has studied the physiology and behavior of Weddell seals in the Antarctic, the metabolic demands and diving capacities of Hawaiian monk seals, and the physiology of sound producing muscles in a variety of odontocete species. Currently, a main focus of her lab's research is examining the physiological requirements and diving capacities of ice-dependent Arctic seals. This research program aims to better understand the sensitivity and/or resilience of ringed, bearded, and spotted seals to ongoing sea ice loss and environmental change in the Arctic.

PhD, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2014
BS, Biology, University of Portland, 2008
Selected Publications

Hermann-Sorensen, H, Thometz, NM, Woodie, K, Dennison-Gibby, S, Reichmuth, C (2021) “In vivo measurements of lung volumes in ringed seals: insights from biomedical imaging.” Journal of Experimental Biology. 

Thometz, NM, Hermann-Sorensen, H, Russell, B., Rosen, DAS, Reichmuth, C (2021) “Molting strategies of Arctic seals drive annual patterns in metabolism.” Conservation Physiology. 

Goertz CEC, Reichmuth C, Thometz NM, Ziel H, Boveng P (2019) “Comparative health assessments of Alaskan ice seals.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 6(4):1-15. 

Thometz NM, Dearolf JL, Dunkin RC, Noren DP, Holt MM, Sims OC, Cathey BC, Williams TM (2018) "Comparative physiology of vocal musculature in two odontocetes, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).” Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 188(1): 177-193. 

Noren DP, Holt MM, Dunkin RC, Thometz NM, Williams TM (2017) “Comparative and cumulative energetic costs of odontocete responses to anthropogenic disturbance.” Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. Acoustical Society of America 27:1-12.