The Behavioral REsearch And eCosystem Health lab

at the University of Alaska Southeast &

the College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks



The overall aim of this lab is to understand the behavior and ecology of marine mammals, and their role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. A wide network of collaborators, undergraduates, and graduate students are involved in projects related to this theme. Click on the links to the right to learn more about current research and students. 

If you are a prospective student, please read through the project descriptions on this website. Also review the admission requirements to the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences: I do not currently have funding to support additional students. However, highly talented students may be able to obtain their own funding so please contact me if you are interested.




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Monday, December 09, 2013

First conference, then fieldwork

Before heading to the field, we're spending the week in Dunedin at the 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. This is the most important conference for marine mammal scientists, and we gather every two years to share our latest research, network, and gain inspiration. The theme of the conference is "Marine Mammal Conservation: Science making a difference". 

Today was the first day, and it was full of thought-provoking talks by top experts.  My favorite quote of the day was, "Conservation is not rocket science; it is much more complex." This sums up the many challenges we face when trying to conserve marine mammals - environmental, political, economical, sociological - and that there is no single, easy, or quick solution.  Some species  - such as the Hawaiian monk seal - are still suffering despite the best efforts of countless people. But, we also heard some encouraging stories, such as the Australian sea lions that are recovering after some modifications to fishing gear have greatly reduced the numbers that are killed in fishing gear.  A major part of conservation is working with people and changing human behavior.  And, the keys to success seem to be open communication between people with differing opinions, and working together across discipilines. Lots to ponder!

It's going to be a great week in Dunedin!

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