Right whales, great friends, and…pirates?

This has been a great past few days and for two very different reasons! Thursday started out like any marginal boat day: getting up early and looking at the weather, then looking at it every 15 minutes to see if … Continue reading

Why sperm whales are bad news

Well, for us anyway. And squid. And Captain Ahab. We just had our first two days out in the Bay for the 2014 season, and while we saw many species, we only saw 3 or 4 right whales. None of … Continue reading

The Parks Lab at the Animal Behavior Meeting

This past week, Dana, Hannah and I travelled to Princeton, NJ for the 51st annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society. It was only my second time attending the meeting, and a first for both Hannah and Dana. The setting … Continue reading

Adventures in Macro Photography

Although our insects are generally favorable as far as logistics and productivity, looking at tiny critters presents its own challenges.  The insect work in the Parks Lab has inspired me to make several adjustments to my sense of scope. Just … Continue reading

“This is either madness or brilliance”

Every scientific journey begins with an idea.  These ideas can go one of two ways: 1) after countless trials and brainstorms, they actually work; 2) after countless trials and brainstorms, they don’t.  I think you can guess which one happens more often.  … Continue reading

The Seals and the Sea Lions. And the Otter.

The Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Lab, based at the Long Marine Lab at UCSC, focuses on sensory, cognitive, and behavioral ecology of marine mammals.  Researchers work closely with the resident animals, training them with operant conditioning and positive reinforcement … Continue reading