Building Ecological Insights from Marine Mammal Archives
Speaker: Alyson Fleming, Associate Scientist, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison
To create meaningful conservation targets today, we often need to understand the function of past ecosystems. Tree rings, ice, and sediment cores have revealed critical insights on past climates. But how do we learn about past ecologies? Marine mammals are efficient samplers of marine environments and our long history of whaling has created centuries of marine mammal specimens around the world. Applying modern molecular techniques to the analysis of old bones, teeth, and baleen, we can better understand how ecosystems used to function and how they have changed.