2016年3月6日，周日下午4:00pm - 6：30pm
Silicon Valley Asian Art Center, 4th Floor, 3777 Stevens Creek Blvd Santa Clara, CA 95051
Speaker: Guy Oliver
I never realize I was destined to become a research biologist. I grew up in a rural setting slightly west of St Louis, where I was surrounded by animals: numerous dogs, cats and their kittens, sheep, chickens, a pig and a billy goat, our four horses and 15-20 fan-tailed pigeons. Even while in New England for high school and college, I shared my room or meals with Charlie the squirrel monkey, Basil, a 6’ long boa constrictor, Nekra, my mammoth husky and Zeus the Red-Tailed hawk. While on a freighter off the coast of Borneo I watched successive groups of dolphins ride the bow wave and thoroughly mesmerized, I decided this deserves repeating. While in Singapore the following week, a Palmist read my fortune. She saw a love affair extending to a life together filled with children and laughter. As I prepared to leave she took both of my hands in hers and in a grave voice she whispered, “Never, never go near the water.”
But the die was cast. When I returned to the States, I took a 2-month course in Underwater Photography at Brooks Institute of Photography and then offered my services as a diver and photographer to various labs involved in studies of marine mammals. Howard Winn at the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, invited me to join an upcoming cruise to the humpback whale breeding grounds off Hispaniola. Other cruises followed and in between them, I cared for 2 young gray seals (Ike and Tina) and investigated how they used click-like sounds, which are similar to the sounds dolphins use when echolocating. My thesis resulted in a MS in Biological Oceanography and a great appreciation of how clever these seals were.
I came to UC Santa Cruz in the mid-1980’s, earned a Ph.D. in Biology for my investigation of the homing and diving behavior of elephant seals and have been there ever since. It is a wonderful place to call home! I can drive 22 miles north to Año Nuevo, take a short walk along the beach until I encounter a particular elephant seal, attach an electronic tag bristling with sensors to the seal’s fur, return home for dinner and then monitor the seal’s behavior and movements from my study before retiring to bed.
Book: The Northern Elephant Seal: exceeding expectations
Adult elephant seals are ashore twice a year: in the winter for the breeding season and later in the year for the molt, when they lose and regrow their outer layer of skin and fur. At these times the male elephant seals are the largest native animal on land in the United States with a mass almost three times that of the Bison, which is the second largest species and weighs up to a ton. During the 8 to 10 months of the year the seals are at sea, they are underwater over 87% of the time and usually far from land. Because biologists cannot accompany the seals on their foraging migrations, we have had to develop and deploy a wide variety of sensors to describe where these seals go, what do they do there and how, physiologically, can they succeed in what seems to be an extraordinarily hostile environment for a mammal to make a living.
It is astonishing what these seals are able to do, and additionally fascinating are the instruments enabling the description of what had been so hidden. So come, to discover some interesting biology and the technology that enabled these discoveries.
硅谷亚洲艺术中心（Silicon Valley Asian Art Center & Narx Gallery），4500平方英尺展厅，平均每月2场艺展，举办中国绘画、书法、雕刻展览和艺术演讲，演奏活动。