Boersma Lab

Testing Technology with the Woodland Park Zoo

Since 2015, we have deployed automatic weighbridges to track the foraging success of Magellanic penguins at one of their largest breeding colonies – Punta Tombo, Argentina. These weighbridges weigh penguins noninvasively as they leave the nesting area to forage and when they return to feed their chicks. This helps us track whether these penguins are finding enough food for themselves and their chicks. With new fishing effort data made available with satellite technology, we are excited to start working on how fishing and ocean conditions affect penguin foraging.  After all of these years in the harsh Patagonian environment (high winds, […]

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Updates from the Field: Tombo Jan-Feb 2024

We continued our Punta Tombo field season this winter with graduate student Erik Johansson, former undergrad lab member Chloe Rabinowitz, and program coordinator Kalyna Durbak staying on site from January 12 through February 21. Our goal for this trip was to attach GTA* and GPS tags on adult penguins who were actively feeding chicks in order to log their foraging trips. Since the tags did not actively transmit data, they had to be retrieved after about two weeks of use. The tags were deployed 41 times throughout the field work trip; 31 GTA deployments and 10 GPS deployments. Center researchers

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A fearful scourge to the penguin colonies: Southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus) predation on living Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) may be more common than assumed

Authors: Dr. Ginger Rebstock and Dr. P Dee BoersmaJournal: Marine Ecology Press SeriesDOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps14476 Excerpt from abstract: Southern giant petrels (Macronectes giganteus) are important consumers that range across the oceans throughout the southern hemisphere […] Here we describe a predation attempt by a trio of southern giant petrels on a molting adult Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) at the large colony at Punta Tombo, Argentina […] We suggest that living penguins—both fledglings and adults—may constitute a more seasonally significant proportion of the giant petrel diet than previously assumed, and their capture may represent a specialized predation technique.

A fearful scourge to the penguin colonies: Southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus) predation on living Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) may be more common than assumed Read More »

Center paper finalist for Cozzarelli Prize

The paper “Climate presses and pulses mediate the decline of a migratory predator”,” published last year ” is the finalist for the Cozzarelli Prize in the category Class VI: Applied Biological, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Congrats to former Abrahms Lab postdoc Dr.T. J. Clark-Wolf, Dr. Dee Boersma, Dr. Ginger A. Rebstock, and Dr. Briana Abrahms! Read the full press release on the PNAS website.

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Dr. Dee Boersma will be a playable character in new board game Waddle Waddle

That’s right- Dee will be featured in a board game! Joining her are Dr. Pablo “Popi” Boroboroglu, Dr. Heather Lynch, Dr. Lloyd Spencer Davis, Dylan deNapoli, and Dr. Katrin Ludynia. Get a $5 discount on your own copy of Waddle Waddle by signing up for updates on their GameFound site. Here’s what Brush-Tail Games said about adding Dee to the game: We are excited to reveal the identity of our third official Penguin Hero, Dr. P Dee Boersma! It’s safe to say that there is no one who has studied and conserved penguins longer than Dee Boersma. Dee has been

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Dr. Eric Wagner featured on podcast Raising Kind Humans

Dr. Eric Wagner talked with Katie Doughty, host of the podcast Raising Kind Humans, about parenting, penguins, and protecting the planet. Find the link to the podcast below, or wherever you download your other podcasts. Raising Kind Humans, episode 56 Katie also wrote a couple of children’s books starring penguins. Follow Team Kind Humans on Instagram @katie_doughty

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Field updates: Argentina, September 2023

Written by Dr. Dee Boersma The ongoing pinniped (seals and walruses) die-off on Peninsula Valdés is catastrophic. Our contacts in Argentina–two local veterinarians (Marci Uhart and Ralph Vanstreels), and Claudia Campagna of WCS–tell us that hundreds and potentially thousands of sea lions and elephant seals have died. Avian flu (more widely known as bird flu) has devastated seabird populations throughout the world, but this is the first time it has reached Chile and Argentina. Over a million chickens were killed just in Peru to try and stop its spread. A few sea lions and one elephant seal tested positive for

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