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Baylor Biology Professor Travels To Antarctica To Study Leopard Seals As Part Of NSF-Funded Research

Baylor Biology Professor Travels To Antarctica To Study Leopard Seals As Part Of NSF-Funded Research 2018-04-05
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Stephen J. Trumble B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

As part of an $800,000 National Science Foundation-funded project, Stephen J. Trumble, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at Baylor, and other experienced Antarctica researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Colorado State University will work to gain an understanding of the foraging ecology and physiology of the leopard seal, an Antarctic apex, or top, predator.

“This three-year project will collect data on foraging and dive behavior, diet, habitat use and fuel use in leopard seals,” Trumble said. “Ultimately, the goal is to relate foraging behavior with physiological performance and determine physiological limits. The estimated physiological limits combined with habitat modeling will help us understand how leopard seals may respond and cope with a changing Antarctic environment.”

Trumble and his fellow researchers will conduct their research at the remote Cape Shirreff Field Station on Livingston Island, relying on 55-years of combined experience and lights to navigate the terrain in the dark while searching for leopard seals.

A vertebrate physiologist and expert in marine mammals, Trumble has made his fair share of national research headlines since he began working at Baylor in 2008. Along with his graduate students in his Laboratory of Ecological and Adaptational Physiology (LEAP), Dr. Trumble investigates and publishes on basic and applied research involving skeletal muscle physiology, organismal energetics, lipid biochemistry, digestive physiology and health indices in models ranging from rats to seals to whales.

Media Communications | Baylor University

Baylor biology professor travels to Antarctica on national science foundation-funded research project

Waco, Texas (April 5, 2018) – beginning April 9, Stephen J. Trumble, Ph.D.., associate professor of biology in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, will brave the Antarctic winter for two months to study leopard seals.

Media Communications | Baylor University