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To Pray for Prey or Flail the Tail - Investigations into the Ecology of the Gray Whale

Mon., Sep. 29, 2014 9:30 a.m. - Mon., Sep. 29, 2014 10:20 a.m.

Location: Room CL 317, Classroom Building, University of Regina

All are welcome to attend this lecture hosted by Geography Research. For more information, contact the Deepartment of Geography and Environmental Studies.

Title: To Pray for Prey or Flail the Tail: Investigations into the Ecology of the Gray Whale
Presenter: Dr. D.A. Duffus
Whale Research Lab
Dept. of Geography
University of Victoria
Location: Room CL 317, Classroom Building, University of Regina
Date/Time:

Monday, September 29, 2014
9:30-10:20 a.m.

Description:

Large ocean ecosystems are driven by fluctuations in primary productivity on a seasonal basis in temperate waters.  In smaller areas and in short food chains, however, baleen whales become influential predators that drive ecosystem level dynamics in terms of abundance, distribution, and prey species diversity. 

During this presentation, Dr. Duffus will unravel the intimate details of a coastal ecosystem dominated by a large mobile predator, the gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) and its prey.  Over the past 25 years, UVic's research teams have studied physical, chemical, and biological components of a discrete whale foraging area on the west coast of Vancouver Island to understand the interaction between predator and prey.  The UVic research team characterizes the interaction web as a classic wasp-waisted system controlled by zooplankton in the middle of the trophic system.  While the team began studying 12 m, 30t animals, they were drawn into the sphere of influence of 10mm, 0.08 gm ringmasters.