Lab News

Honors thesis defense – congratulations Amanda!

By | Student News

Congratulations to Amanda Shuman, who successfully defended her Honors thesis entitled The Potential Impact of Climate Change on Blue Whale Migration in the Eastern Pacific. Amanda, who was co-advised by Drs. Kristina Cammen and Fei Chai, focused on three main topics for her literature review-based thesis: current blue whale migration patterns, current conditions of blue whale calving and foraging grounds, and climate change projections for those key areas. Through her synthesis of the current literature on these topics, she concludes that the foraging grounds (in particular local krill abundance) are likely to be more dramatically impacted by climate change than the calving grounds, and accordingly blue whales will likely have to extend their current migration route to find sufficient prey in the warming subpolar waters.

This fall, Amanda will begin a Masters program in Environmental Science at the University of New Haven.  We wish her luck in her next steps!

Welcome to the Cammen lab

By | Lab News

Kristina officially starts as an Assistant Professor of Marine Mammal Science in the School of Marine Sciences on May 1. In this new position, Kristina will teach classes in marine mammals and ocean health, and build a research program focused on the ecology, evolution, and population health of marine mammal species in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere.

Talking to birders about seals

By | Outreach

Local environmental organizations provide a great audience and a fun venue to share our science with the general public. This evening, Kristina gave a talk entitled “Seal Populations on Maine’s Coast: then and now” to the Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon in Ellsworth, Maine. With an interested and engaged audience of about 40 Audubon members and other community members, Kristina shared a brief history of Maine’s seals, tracking the changes in local seal population size and human perception from Native American subsistence hunting, to state-financed bounty programs, to more recent conservation and recovery.