Thesis defense: ‘To pup or not to pup? Using physiology and dive behavior to answer the Weddell seal’s overwintering question,’ June 8

May 21, 2015

Monday, June 8, 10–11 a.m.
ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building, Room 120

Please join the Department of Biological Sciences for the dissertation defense of UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences student Michelle Shero. Michelle has said of her research, “I’m interested in physiological plasticity and how this impacts animal performance and reproductive success. My dissertation focuses on the impacts of critical life history events on Weddell seal body condition (lipid stores), aerobic capacities and muscle biochemistry. Animals drastically reduce foraging for about four months of the year while they give birth, breed and molt. Any loss of condition and atrophy of oxygen stores or muscle would potentially impact foraging efficiencies once active diving resumes. Further, foraging capabilities during the long recuperation period coincide with gestation, and physiological status may influence the ability to carry a fetus to term. Thus, in my dissertation, I characterize Weddell seal physiological condition across the year and examine links with dive behavior and reproductive effort.”

To learn more about Michelle, please visit her student profile on the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences website.

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