Seminar on Seabird Monitoring

October 15, 2020 - 3:30 PM
Hatfield Marine Science Center

Brandt's Cormorants nesting at Haystack Rock.\Photo by Molly Sultany.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center’s research seminar series has moved online during the coronavirus era.  The next virtual seminar, coming up Thursday, Oct. 15, 3:30 p.m., is presented by Rachael Orben of the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at Oregon State University.  Her topic: “Developing and employing biologging tags to sample the seabird’s ocean environment.”  These talks are free and open to all.

Dr. Orben, an assistant professor and senior researcher who is also on the affiliative faculty of the Marine Mammal Institute at the HMSC, has her PhD in ocean sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz (go, Banana Slugs!). 

Her description of her topic:

“Deploying biologging instruments on animals has brought about profound advances in our understanding of animal movement and behavior. In particular, seabird ecology has benefitted substantially. However, technological advances are still needed to enhance the capabilities of biologging tags to collect, transmit, and process environmental data that are, in some cases, inherent in the animal movement data. We are currently developing methods to collect oceanographic data from foraging cormorants. Globally, cormorants are common in the nearshore environment and through their foraging behavior we are characterizing physical oceanographic parameters --specifically, vertical profiles of temperature and salinity, surface currents, bathymetric soundings, surface gravity wave statistics, and air/sea temperature contrast. Similarly, custom built biologging tags can detect radar signals from vessels encountered by foraging seabirds. These vessel detection events allow a better understanding of when seabirds encounter vessels and how they interact. In both cases, these environmental data provide scale appropriate context for animal movement decisions that can have population level consequences.”

To register for the webinar, go here.