Nicole Teutschel at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab, CA -- The E-Seal
Team has a new member, Melinda Fowler
did her masters at Sonoma State University
with Dan Crocker, who introduced the Missouri farm girl to the world of elephant seals.
Growing up on a farm in rural Missouri, Melinda
wondered about the outside world, but maintained her
interest in animals.
Marine animals were as different as you could get from Melinda's roots with cows, goats and horses; it was new and exciting to her
Years later, Melinda
is still captivated by marine mammal research.
not only driven by her
curiosity of animals extremely different from those she
worked with in Missouri, but also being able to do her
own independent research.
Melinda is now a first year doctorate student in Dan Costa's lab at UC Santa Cruz.
Melinda comes to UC Santa Cruz having deployed tags on elephant seals in Mexico, assisted in behavioral studies of Galapagos sea lions, monitored Hawaiian monk seals on Laysan Island, observed maternal investment and behavior of Stellar sea lions in Alaska, and, this year, Melinda was instrumental in the TOPP California sea lion tagging and recovery effort on San Nicholas Island in the Channel Islands off Southern California.
tagging an elephant seal in Mexico.
capturing a California sea lion on San Nicholas Island (above).
A female California sea lion carrying TOPP tags (below).
After gaining diverse experiences on many different marine mammal species, Melinda
is fascinated by northern elephant seals' phenomenal ability to fast and lactate at the same time.
How the female seals are able to mobilize the immense amount of calories that she
pup need is an amazing feat.
added that this is only one of the astonishing aspects that this extreme species is able to accomplish, and this has sparked her
interest in satellite telemetry and TOPP's
As a doctorate student, Melinda plans to look into those interests.
will study lactation physiology in pinniped species and how their foraging ecology and varying environmental conditions can affect them and their pups.
Lead Researchers:Dan Costa and Melinda Fowler