College of Natural and Computational Sciences

Kristi West, Ph.D.

Kristi West, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Marine Sciences and Biology

HPU Email:

Office Telephone: 808-236-5841  FAX: 808-236-3590

Office location: 247 Hawaii Loa Campus

Postdoctoral Fellow (2003-2005), National Zoological Park and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Ph.D. Biomedical Science (2002). University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Ph.D. Marine Ecology (2002). L’Universite de la Polynesie Francaise.

M.Sc. Marine Science (1998). University of the Ryukyus

B.A. Marine Science (1996).  University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Publications (Past 5 years):

West, K.L., Mead, J.G. and C.W. Potter. Submitted. The attainment

of sexual and physical maturity in the rough-toothed dolphin, Steno bredanensis. Canadian Journal of Zoology.

West, K.L., Oftedal, O.T., Carpenter, J., Campbell, M., Krames, B.J.

and J.C. Sweeney. (In Press). Effect of stage of lactation and concurrent pregnancy on milk composition in bottlenose dolphins. Journal of Zoology.

Gannier, A. and K.L. West. 2004. Distribution of the rough-toothed

dolphin (Steno bredanensis) around the Windward Islands, French Polynesia. Pacific Science: (59)1:17-24.

West, K.L. and R. van Woesik.  2001. Spatial and temporal variance

of river discharge on Okinawa (Japan): Inferring the temporal impact on adjacent coral reefs.  Marine Pollution  Bulletin: 42(10) 864-872.

West, K.L, Atkinson, S., Carmichael, M., Sweeney, J.C., Krames, B.,

and J. Krames. 2000.  Concentrations of progesterone in dolphin milk during different reproductive states. General and Comparative Endocrinology: (117) 218-224.

Presentations (Past 5 years):

2006   West, K.L.  Marine Mammal Strandings: Collecting data on the life-history of cetaceans. Pacific Islands Regional Stranding Conference, Honolulu, HI. July 2006.

2005   West, K.L, Oftedal, O.T., Wells, R. S., Costa, D. P. and M.B. Kretzmann. Milk composition in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) obtained from 17 years of sample collection. Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin Reproduction Symposium. Abstracts. October 2005.

2005   West, K.L and J.C. Ramer. Thyroid function in bottlenose dolphins: an overview of efforts to establish baselines. Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin Reproduction Symposium. Abstracts. October 2005.

2005   Eisert, R., West, K.L., Oftedal, O.T. and J.C. Sweeney. The dietary biomarker method: a new tool for cetacean research. Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin Reproduction Symposium. Abstracts. October 2005.

2005   Shah, R.S., West, K.L., Oftedal, O.T., Wells, R.S. and J.C. Sweeney. Milk mineral values in free-ranging and captive bottlenose dolphins. Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin Reproduction Symposium. October 2005.

2003   West, K.L., Ramer, J.C., Van Bonn, W.G. and J.C. Sweeney. Ultrasound techniques for measurement of the thyroid gland in Tursiops truncatus. 34th Annual International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine Conference. Abstracts. May 2003.

Service (Past 5 years):

Member, Dolphin Quest Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

(IACUC), 2001-present.

Member, College of Natural Sciences Faculty Hiring Committee

(Fall 2006)

Member, College of Natural Sciences Oceanography Faculty Search

Committee (Spring 2007)

Courses Routinely taught at HPU (Past 5 years):

            BIOL 2030             Human Anatomy and Physiology I

            BIOL 2031             Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory I

MARS 3802          Marine Mammal Biology

            MARS 3803          Marine Mammal Biology Laboratory

            BIOL 4940             Biology Seminar

            MARS 4910          Seminar Marine Biology

            BIOL 4950             Biology Practicum

Grants, Contracts and Awards (Past 5 years):


Prescott Marine Mammal Assistance Grant Program, (2006-2007):

Increasing cetacean necropsy capabilities in the Main

Hawaiian Islands.

Marine Science Network, Smithsonian Institution, (2004-2007): A

comparative study of bottlenose dolphin nutritional foraging


SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (2005-2006): Wild

study of rough-toothed dolphins and melon-headed whales in French Polynesia.

Dolphin Quest (2005). The milk mineral content of dolphin milk.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (2004-2007). Dolphin calf

nutritional needs in Florida’s wild dolphins.

Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park (2004): Continued

study of the energetics of lactation in cetaceans, post-doctoral extended fellowship award.

Smithsonian Institution (2002/2003): Study of the energetics of

lactation in cetaceans, post-doctoral fellowship award.

Indianapolis Zoo (2003-2005): Studies of thyroid function in

bottlenose dolphins.

Dolphin Quest Inc. (2002/2003): Investigations into dolphin


Description of Research Interests:

My interests could be broadly described as those pertaining to marine mammal biology. The physiology of cetaceans, especially from a nutritional and reproductive perspective is a focal area. I am also interested in describing life-history traits in cetaceans, in particular those for poorly known species. Other interests revolve around marine mammal stranding events and information that can be gained by performing thorough necropsies. This includes the study of disease prevalence and environmental influences on Hawaiian cetaceans.