355 words • 2~3 min read

Marine mammals took our jobs!

Image courtesy SEAOS project

This time they’ve gone too far. In this economy, it’s hard enough to find employment as a marine scientist. Marine mammals are taking our jobs!

In the good old days, oceanographic equipment was so complicated that the only people who could use it were trained marine scientists. The good old days are no more.

Image from USGS.gov

I recently attended a fascinating talk by Dr. Ailsa Hall, director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St. Andrew’s University. She t0ld me something truly horrifying. Apparently, through St. Andrew’s SAVEX and SEAOS projects, marine mammals are being used to collect oceanographic data! Elephant seals are fitted with CTD probes capable of broadcasting data to satellites, and as they move through their habitat, they collect data and send it to UK based scientists!

Image courtesy SAVEX project

Elephant seals need no salary or health insurance, and they work weekends! How am I supposed to compete with this?

For a full list of publications based on this research, see here and here. So far, these animals have been alarmingly effective at collecting oceanographic data throughout the Southern ocean.

~WhySharksMatter