SMM Editor’s Select Series: “What Does It Take to Power a Walrus?” with Dr. David Rosen

We are pleased to announce this edition of the SMM Seminar Editor’s Select Series. This series highlights the latest and most exciting marine mammal science published in the Marine Mammal Science Journal. The SMM created this series to give scientists and citizens around the world a chance to engage with marine mammal scientists, learn and ask questions. All are welcome.

Dr. David Rosen of the University of British Columbia presents: “What Does It Take To Power A Walrus? Predicting the Effect of Climate Change on Food Requirements of an Iconic Arctic Species.”
April 15, 2021 5 PM Pacific Time (1 AM UTC)

About this talk:
Climate change is rapidly altering the Arctic ecosystem, including dramatic decreases in the extent of summer ice. Scientists are trying to predict the effect of these environmental transformations on wildlife. This includes the Walrus, an iconic, ice-dependent species that relies on stable ice surfaces to rest and act as a base for foraging on nearby food beds. Mathematical bioenergetic models are a typical tool that scientists use to predict the food energy requirements of animals under different conditions, and several such models have been constructed for walruses. However, these models are only as accurate as the data that goes into them. This talk will describe several studies that measured the costs of resting in water and swimming in two juvenile walruses on loan to the Vancouver Aquarium. I will describe what it was like to work with these boisterous, large animals on a daily basis, the scientific challenges and opportunities they provided, and what the resulting data tells scientists about the costs of global warming on these animals. Open access to this and all Marine Mammal Science papers are available to current SMM members and will be made temporarily available to public between 15-22 April 2021.

About the presenter:
Dr. David Rosen is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. His current research primarily investigates the bioenergetics (energy requirements and expenditures) of marine mammals. Its focus is to understand the root causes of population changes by investigating the interactions between the physiology of individual animals and biotic and abiotic environmental changes. The work directly contributes to the conservation and management of marine resources, particularly those in Arctic region, where environmental change – including climate change and fisheries impacts – is most evident.

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