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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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forest walk


Forest Walk
Photo Album

Uploaded: Sun Jun 22 01:58:15 2014
by Heidi Pearson

Today we had strong winds from the south, so we didn't get out on the water. Even the dolphin tour company cancelled today, so we knew it was really bad weather! We took advantage of our free morning by heading to the forest for a hike, or "tramp" as the kiwis call it.

The town of Kaikoura is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range. There are several hiking trails that start at the base of Mt Fyffe (1600 m or about 1 mile high), about 15 km northwest of Kaikoura. We took the short loop trail at the base of the mountain. This 30 min hike took us through beautiful native New Zealand forest. We saw many silver ferns, which is the national emblem of New Zealand. These ferns are silver-colored on the underside of the fronds. Traditionally, the Maori would flip the fronds upwards in order to mark a trail through the forest. The silver color would reflect the moonlight and light the way for those following at night.

We also had a New Zealand fantail bird escort us through the forest. It flitted back and forth - beside, in front of, and behind us -  for nearly the entire walk. We later learned that these birds are known to follow hikers through the forest. They are looking for insects that are stirred up by our boots! The little fantail was too fast for my camera to capture, so here is a photo from the web.

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