Rob Williams named as 2015 PEW Marine Fellow

rob williams

Canadian scientist Dr. Rob Williams, a past SeaDoc-funded scientist, has been named as a 2015 Pew Marine Fellow. Williams is a marine conservation scientist with the Oceans Initiative and Oceans Research & Conservation Association. The prestigious award will support Williams' effort to identify solutions to reduce ocean noise in important marine habitats. Evidence shows that ocean noise caused by people is doubling every decade, and the effects of this increased noise on sea creatures are not well understood. Learn more about Rob's work on ocean noise. Williams is one of five … [Read more...]

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National Geographic features SeaDoc work on birds and forage fish

Herring by jacob botter

Often overlooked, forage fish are a key part of the food web, and they’re vital to the well-being of threatened and endangered birds, fish, and marine mammals. A recent National Geographic article by Craig Welch puts a spotlight on the controversy over herring harvest, and references SeaDoc’s important paper in Conservation Biology that showed that diving seabirds that eat exclusively forage fish are 16 times more likely to be in decline than bird species with wider diets. Read the article: … [Read more...]

Board member Dr. Deborah Brosnan inducted into Irish Education 100

Dr. Deborah Brosnan

Dr. Deborah Brosnan, a founding member of the SeaDoc Society's Board, was recently honored as a Irish Education 100 fellow. The award honors Irish educators who have had an impact on the education system of the United States. A marine scientist, Brosnan was recognized for her work on ocean ecosystem hazards and their effects on humans. Brosnan's organization, the Brosnan Center, focuses on ocean ecosystems, building resilience for environmental disasters and extreme events, integrating science to solve pressing problems, and planning for a changing world. Read the award citation … [Read more...]

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February 2015 update

sea lion

In this issue: Saving a Steller sea lion in Canada, invasive isopods, stopping transmission of pet diseases to wildlife, compare sea lion teeth to harbor seal teeth, upcoming lecture on Tides, Thor Hanson goes to Olympia, Ingrid Rasch on climate action, and many upcoming events for the launch of the Salish Sea book. … [Read more...]

Saving a sea lion off Vancouver Island

sea lion

Earlier in the week Joe Gaydos was able to work with a skilled team of experts from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada and the Seattle Aquarium to disentangle a 1,400 lb. Steller sea lion that was being strangled by a piece of packing strap. The animal was immobilized by remote injection of an anesthetic cocktail. Once it was sedated, the team cut the packing strap loose and reversed the anesthesia, allowing the fully recovered animal to swim away free. Like any complex procedure performed by trained experts, this procedure looks … [Read more...]

Invasive isopods in the Salish Sea


A recent publication on the global introduction of the Asian isopod Ianiropsis serricaudis was a by-product of a study we funded to evaluate the impact of invasive tunicates in the Salish Sea (Cordell et al., 2012). The publication shows that this invasive isopod is well-established in communities of fouling organisms throughout the Northern Hemisphere. While the actual ecological impact of this isopod in the Salish Sea (or in other areas where it has been introduced) is unknown, it is interesting that in multiple places, including Puget Sound, its presence is strongly associated with the … [Read more...]

Prevention of disease in domestic animals is an important tool in wildlife health


Did you know that diseases like canine distemper virus can spread from domestic dogs to wildlife? It's a problem around the world, with infections in lions, tigers, hyenas, ferrets, North American river otters, raccoons, bears, and more. Two seal species, Baikal and Caspian seals, have also experienced distemper outbreaks. In January 2015, Joe Gaydos presented a paper titled Canine Distemper in Wildlife: How Private Practitioners Can Help at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida. Proper vaccination of domestic animals can help contain outbreaks. A similar virus, … [Read more...]

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Canine teeth comparison – Steller sea lion to harbor seal

Adult harbor seal canine tool vs Steller sea lion canine tooth. Photo: J. Gaydos

Did you know that seals, sea lions and other animals put down annular growth rings on their teeth? This means that you can age an animal that has died by counting the growth rings on a sectioned tooth much like you can do for a tree that has been cut down. We were pulling teeth to age some stranded animals as part of our collaborative work with the Whale Museum and San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network and were once again amazed at how large Steller sea lions are. Check out this shot comparing lower canines of an adult harbor seal and a Steller sea lion! … [Read more...]

January 2015 update

Bull kelp

In this issue: New project to investigate toxins in edible seaweeds, tufted puffin listing progress, thank you to donors and supporters, Seattle Aquarium octopus census, marine science lecture update … [Read more...]

Video: Jared Towers on minke whales in the Salish Sea


In November of 2014, Jared Towers of MERS, the Marine Education and Research Society, spoke about his research on minke whales. Minkes are the smallest baleen whales in the North Pacific Ocean, averaging 26 to 29 feet in length, but also one of the fastest of all the whales and dolphins. They are estimated to live for 30-60 years, are normally solitary, and prefer to spend time in very specific habitats where they forage on small schooling fishes. Jared Towers is involved in several cutting edge research projects with minke whales, including investigations into their population … [Read more...]