Silvana González, a PhD student at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, uses acoustic techniques to collect data in otherwise inaccessible locations. In high-latitude marine ecosystems, like the Chukchi Sea, traditional vessel-based sampling for fish and zooplankton is only possible in seasons without sea ice. This limiting factor results in an incomplete picture of the life history of these species and the ecosystem as a whole. By utilizing remote acoustic measurements recorded throughout the year and under the sea ice, González is able to piece together a more complete picture of arctic marine life.
The adage “you are what you eat” generally turns out to be true. Foods we ingest are broken down into amino acids and absorbed into our bodies, leaving trace elements in our bones. In turn, these amino acids can be traced back to their source like a biological receipt, revealing information about the environment. Using this knowledge, researchers are conducting isotope analysis of amino acids in harbor seal skulls to determine the composition of historical marine food webs.
Professor Chris Anderson was featured on NPR’s Planet Money podcast – a show that aims to take complex economic issues and make them approachable for all audiences.
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