Dr. Briana Abrahms chosen as a Packard Fellow for 2023

Dr. Briana Abrahms has been named a 2023 Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering, according to an Oct. 16 announcement from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. As one of 20 new fellows across the country, Abrahms, who holds the Boersma Endowed Chair in Natural History and Conservation, will receive $875,000 over five years for her research. Read the full story here. From all of us at the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels: congratulations on this well-deserved honor! ?

In Press: Sex-specific migratory behavior in a marine predator results in higher risks to females

Authors: Dr. Ginger Rebstock and Dr. P Dee BoersmaJournal: Marine Ecology Press SeriesDOI: Protecting migratory species requires knowledge of their distributions throughout the year. Spatial or temporal segregation of females and males during part of the annual cycle complicates conservation measures and can lead to sex-biased mortality…

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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Field updates: Botswana, summer 2023

Written by Leigh West African wild dogs are very social animals, living in groups called packs. Wild dog packs have a dominant male and female, and it is this dominant pair that breeds each year to produce litters of pups. Packs of wild dogs are very cooperative, hunting and raising their young together. Two of the wild dogs that the Abrahms Lab collared this summer, Fossey and Cloud, belong to newly formed packs with a very interesting backstory. The dominant male of Marula pack, Sepupa, was killed last summer. This led the pack’s dominant female to leave her home range, …

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Humpback whale in singing position. Photo credit NOAA / Dr. Louis M. Herman

Using the power of models to protect whales from possible ship-strikes

Written by Dr. Anna Nisi We have been building cutting-edge models of species distributions for four great whale species – blue, fin, sperm, and humpback whales. One key threat to the great whales is collisions with shipping vessels, and identifying places where ship-strike risk is high is essential for informing mitigation actions like vessel slow-downs. Our next step is to overlay whale distributions with maps of global shipping traffic, to prioritize these areas for conservation action and help protect these vulnerable species. The results of our work will inform expanding vessel slow-down programs to encompass larger areas and reduce whale …

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CES Open House: November 9, 2023

Our next open house will be November 9, 2023 from 4-6pm! Meet the scientists dedicated to studying sentinel species, learn about their latest research, and find out what’s next for the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels. Find more information on our open house page. We hope to see you there!

Abrahms Lab featured on UW Homepage

The Abrahms Lab – Briana Abrahms, Biology assistant professor; Kasim Rafiq, Biology postdoctoral researcher; and Leigh West, Biology graduate student – was featured on the UW Homepage this week for their work studying the behavior of endangered African wild dogs in Botswana. Read the full article on the UW homepage. Congratulations, all!

New Magellanic penguin study by Boersma Lab

Katie Holt and Dr. Dee Boersma published an article about an unprecedented, single-day, heat-related mortality event of Magellanic Penguins at Punta Tombo. Read about the after effects in the journal Ornithological Applications.

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