Allen et al. 2019. “Muscular apoptosis but not oxidative stress increases with old age in a long-lived diver, the Weddell seal” Journal of Experimental Biology. You’ve likely heard of “dog years” before, but what about seal years? Do wild animals age the same way that pets and humans do? Turns out – we don’t always […]Read More Age: Is it really just a number?
Back in August, we started the story of Toby and Xena (link), two juvenile elephant seals that are part of my graduate research investigating how marine mammals thermoregulate while diving. I don’t know if researchers are allowed to have favorites, but Toby definitely had me and my team feeling grateful for such a cooperative seal, […]Read More Citizen Scientists find my seal!
Steingass S, Horning M, Bishop AM. Space use of Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii) from two haulout locations along the Oregon coast. PloS one. 2019 Jul 31;14(7):e0219484. Click Here for Open Access Paper A quickly changing coastline The Oregon coast is a dynamic and vibrant 363-mile stretch of the eastern Pacific. While a few […]Read More Paper in a nutshell: Harbor Seal movements along the Oregon Coast
Translocations Season 1 Recap Last season, Obedient Juvie (a.k.a. O.J.) and Curious Juvie (a.k.a. C.J.) helped me out with my first pilot study to test heat flux biologgers (what are these?) on freely swimming juvenile elephant seals. Not only did we learn what worked and what didn’t work in terms of sensor attachment and configuration, […]Read More Déjà vu
Last month I took leave from my internship at the Alaska SeaLife Center and traveled to Anchorage to attend the 137th Annual Meeting of the American Ornithological Society from June 24th through 28th. Taking place in a different U.S. locale every year, Anchorage was the northern-most conference in AOS history! As an undergraduate student and […]Read More AOS 2019: Celebrating Women in Ornithology
The anticipation I felt was more than I expected—every couple of hours I was logging into the Argos system database to check the latest satellite hits. Where were my seals going? Earlier that day: As a first-year graduate student in The Costa Lab at UC Santa Cruz, I was conducting my first field experiment with […]Read More Translocations: science with some plot twists
We had 5 days to prep 4 tags—should be doable, right? Add a couple extra pairs of hands to help and it should be a walk in the park…right? Maybe I should start with the fact that I had no experience refurbishing and prepping tags before the Tag Workshop hosted by Dr. Markus Horning at […]Read More To build a tag
Studying the aerial and aquatic movement of alcids “So which one of these birds is the worst at flying?” asks a visitor to the aquarium. I don’t answer. My eyes lock on the rhinoceros auklet standing on the edge of the rocks. She’s spent the last ten minutes scaling the mottled gray cliff on the […]Read More Fly like a bird, swim like a penguin
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs (find them here and here), you know that my current research has no correlation to Alaska marine life or ecosystems, besides the fact that I am collaborating with ASLC’s Dr. Markus Horning. I’ve never been to Alaska before—or even seen more than 2 inches of snow—but I […]Read More AMSS 2019: Impressions from a First-timer
A great new paper from a former ASLC graduate student, Courtney Shuert, who is now working on her PhD in the UK. In this paper, Courtney shares how scientists can use emerging technology like accelerometers to better understand the behavior of wild animals!Read More Paper in a nutshell: Accelerometers, Machine Learning, and Behaviour
Imagine this scenario: You’re going for a jog outside, but seeing some snow on the ground, you decide to put on a thermal long-sleeve shirt underneath your sweatshirt. Right as you step out the door, you sure are glad you added that extra layer. After a few minutes into your jog, you notice you’re breathing […]Read More Coping with lots of fat: A marine mammal’s perspective
It’s 5:30 am and we just loaded up the Costa Lab truck with the cages and gear and pulled out of Long Marine Lab. Some heavy lifting early in the morning will sure do the trick to get your blood flowing and wake you up. The cages are not usually needed for most fieldwork days, […]Read More A Glimpse into the Graduate School Journey
It’s always good to start off the New Year with new experiences. This year marked the first time that I attended a scientific conference: the 2018 Alaska Marine Science Symposium. On top of it being my first time just simply attending a conference, it was also the first time I made and displayed a scientific […]Read More AMSS 2018: Top tips