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This episode of You’re the Expert is coming to you from the New England Aquarium, where we’re joined by Elizabeth Burgess, a marine biologist.

                                               Dr. Liz Burgess

                                               Dr. Liz Burgess

 

Dr. Burgess received her PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia. She is currently researching reproductive biology in marine mammals at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life in the New England Aquarium.  Dr. Burgess is developing methods to safely monitor hormones of marine mammals, focusing in particular on baleen whales and manatees. The Center is focusing much of its work on studying and rehabilitating marine mammal populations through practical solutions, and Liz’s research is a very important part of their efforts.

 

Why it matters:

Hormones reveal a great deal of information about marine mammal populations, and can be used to evaluate specimen’s health, pregnancy, and stress. Using this information, scientists can understand the impact of ocean industrialization and take steps to keep marine mammal populations safe, healthy, and thriving.

A mature North Atlantic right whale and calf

A mature North Atlantic right whale and calf

Further Reading:

Scientists are using drones to collect whale blow:

https://www.wired.com/2015/08/handy-new-use-drones-collecting-whale-snot/

One photographer’s exciting encounter with the mysterious Bryde’s whale:

https://www.nwf.org/en/Magazines/National-Wildlife/2015/AugSept/PhotoZone/Brydes-Whales

An article by Dr. Burgess on the the methodology of collecting whale blow: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5001149/

Examining the correlation between incubation temperature and swimming fitness in sea turtles:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-006-0116-7

Analyzing the reproductive patterns of male dugongs in Australia:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221890599_Testosterone_and_tusks_Maturation_and_seasonal_reproductive_patterns_of_live_free-ranging_male_dugons_Dugong_dugon_in_a_subtropical_population

 

Follow Liz:

To learn more about the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life:

http://www.andersoncabotcenterforoceanlife.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CenterOceanLife?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andersoncabotcenter/

Also check out Liz’s (very good) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fluffyseacow/

 

 

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorEileen Klomhaus