WWU receives $720,000 for 5-year harbor seal study

BELLINGHAM, Wash. The National Science Foundation has awarded a $720,000 grant to Western Washington University's Biology Department to continue researching the response of harbor seals to the density of rockfish in Puget Sound.

Graduate student Adria Banks of Vancouver, Wash., began the research a couple of years ago, with WWU Assistant Professor Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez.

The five-year grant will enable the researchers to pay graduate and undergraduate student assistants, buy supplies and new equipment, and cover the costs of the collaborating agencies: Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

In some trial protected marine areas, which discourage fishing in an effort to restore the rockfish population, the number and size of the bottom fish have increased. But harbor seals, which are "opportunistic feeders," have the potential to slow the recovery of the rockfish population, Acevedo-Gutierrez said.

"Rockfish are not alone in their own bubble," he added.

Banks is tracking the number of harbor seals at haul-out sites from Deception Pass to Bellingham Bay, and from the coast to Rosario Strait. The data will provide a baseline that can be compared later to the number of seals using the sites if protected marine reserves increase rockfish population. Banks also is looking at interseasonal changes.

While Banks is measuring the number of harbor seals, graduate student Katie Luxa of Tacoma will be examining the contents of the predators' diets. Together, the research projects could shed some light on the effect harbor seals have on the rockfish populations.

"Little is known about the harbor seal diet in northern Puget Sound," Luxa said. "I have two sites, utilized by approximately 350 seals, from which I collect scat in southern Padilla Bay. The sites are only accessible at low tide and, because Padilla Bay is so shallow, I'm using a kayak to reach them."

Contact: Kari Neumeyer
Western Washington University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Carnegie Mellons Peter Adams receives EPA research grant
2. Philadelphia ecologist receives top Mongolia honor
3. VIB scientist receives major research grant
4. Maynard Olson receives $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize
5. University of Cincinnati receives $1.7M to research molecular treatment of brain injury
6. Wright State scientist receives grant to help clean up polluted American harbors
7. UCR biologist receives $1.75 million grant to study plant-threatening bacteria
8. Michael R. Zalutsky receives SNMs 2007 Paul C. Aebersold Award
9. Nobel laureate James Watson receives personal genome in ceremony at Baylor College of Medicine
10. MBL scientist Julie Huber receives 2007 LOral USA Fellowship for Women in Science
11. Weill Cornell pharmacologist receives prestigious NIH MERIT Award

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/13/2020)... ... June 11, 2020 , ... ... a significant expansion of its forensic genealogy team. Bode’s Forensic Genealogy Service ... proven forensic genealogy and DNA analysis methods. The team has added experienced genealogists, ...
(Date:6/5/2020)... ... 04, 2020 , ... “Although we are disappointed to have to make this ... and the public. We remain committed to creating a global platform to showcase ... Julie Sutcliffe, President of WMIS. , The abstract deadline for the ...
(Date:5/28/2020)... ... , ... CrucialTrak, a global designer and manufacturer of biometric access control systems, ... market and sell its complete line of biometric readers and access gates . ... solutions . , Brett Mason, CrucialTrak’s Director of Channel Sales for the Americas ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... 2020 , ... MedShift , a leading medical technology ... obstacles created as a result of COVID-19. As a provider at the forefront ... and medical manufacturers by expanding access to device offerings, technology services, and marketing ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... HILL, Conn. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2020 ... ... company formed to advance photodynamic therapy for treating cancer, today announced the company ... New York (“Roswell Park”). The agreement provides Lumeda globally exclusive rights to ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 22, 2020 , ... Dracen Pharmaceuticals ... be presented June 22-24 during the American Association for Cancer Research Virtual meeting. ... profiles the potent, consistent single agent activity in KEAP1 mutant tumor models of ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 09, 2020 , ... ... the release of the NEON Micro-Tracer Solution, a highly accurate, contact ... COVID-19 virus in the workplace. Contact tracing, a core disease control measure, is ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: