Cammen Lab visits Marine Mammals of Maine Triage Center

(left to right) Lynda Doughty, Alayna Hawkins, Sarah Burton, Shannon Brown, Emma Newcomb, and Emma Spies at the Marine Mammals of Maine triage facility in Harpswell, ME.

Lynda Doughty, executive director and stranding coordinator, of Marine Mammals of Maine hosted a visit of several of our lab members to MMoME’s seal triage and rehabilitation center this past weekend.  This was a particularly exciting visit for our students who have hours and hours of experience working with marine mammal stranding data in our custom-built electronic database, and our students who spend most of their time at a lab bench working with seal DNA.  Lynda gave us a tour of the facility and shared stories and lessons learned from the past several months of crisis response to a federally-designated Unusual Mortality Event that more than tripled the number of seals they were called to respond to, compared to previous years.  We talked about several ways to strengthen our partnership between the University of Maine and MMoME, with a particular focus on how students can be involved.  To support one ongoing research collaboration, we also collected a water sample from a seal rehab pool for continued eDNA (environmental DNA) method development. Thank you, Lynda, for hosting our visit!

Sarah Burton collects a water sample for eDNA analysis.