Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Spring 2020 Seminar Series


University of California Santa Cruz

Monday, February 10, 2020
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Research Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


Our basic knowledge about the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems was developed during the 20th century, a time when many populations of large marine predators had been or were being decimated by commercial exploitation, competition with fisheries, and pollution, among many other factors. As a result, these species have been historically considered of little relevance to studies of marine ecology and oceanography, and, consequently, we have a limited understanding of their roles in marine biogeochemical cycles, transfer of biomass, patterns of biological productivity, and nutrient fluxes. Today, however, we are witnessing the recovery of some populations of air-breathing marine predators (some of them reaching pre-exploitation levels), while others remain at critically low levels or face extinction. This disparity poses a two-fold challenge to the scientific community. On the one hand, because of their high metabolic demands, biomass, and consumption rates, these species have the potential to control the trophodynamics of entire marine ecosystems and can serve as indicators or sentinels of their status and health. On the other hand, in order for us to implement effective conservation measures to protect these species, we need to understand how they operate at the individual and population levels, and the mechanisms they rely on to cope with fluctuations in their environment. This seminar will show how, by understanding the rold of air-breathing marine predators within their ecosystems and their ability to cope with environmental variability, we can use these species to inform us about the past, present, and future of marine ecosystem health, resilience, and management.


Dr. Hückstädt is an Assistant Researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California Santa Cruz. His research is motivated by his interest in understanding the role that large predators, particularly marine mammals, play in marine ecosystems, especially in those areas more susceptible to human-induced climatic change, such as high latitude and polar marine systems. To help answer these questions, he uses Biologging technologies and Stable Isotope Analyses, in order to understand the at-sea behavior of marine top predators.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

Old Dominion University Homepage CCPO
Innovation Research Park Building I
4111 Monarch Way, 3rd Floor
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23508
CCPO Homepage

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