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I am currently a PhD student and Nancy Foster scholar at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington studying sea otter foraging ecology and population dynamics on the Washington coast. My passion is for invertebrates and marine conservation! I am particularly interested in the relationships between vertebrate predators and invertebrate prey, be it sea otters and  marine invertebrates or bullfrogs and freshwater invertebrates. 

4 thoughts on “About

  1. We just returned from camping on the Southcoast Wilderness trail on the Olympic Peninsula (near Strawberry Point and Toleak). We have been camping there for 18 years. Sadly, there was a dead sea otter washed up on the beach. We used to see a sea otter in that little bay and it may be that otter. Also, we were very saddened to see that there were no sea stars at all. Do you know anything about the sea otter population on the Washington Coast? Thanks. P & J

    1. Hi Pam,

      That sounds like a great place to camp! It’s always sad when a sea otter washes up. Did you by any chance report it? I think the Fish and Wildlife Service would be interested to know about it.

      That’s also too bad you didn’t see any sea stars- if you haven’t already I suggest reading my post on sea star wasting disease, as it is affecting sea stars on the WA coast.

      As for the sea otter population, their numbers are continuing to increase! An annual count is made, and the 2013 report can be found here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01584/. The total counted in 2013 was 1,272.

      Thanks for your interest!

  2. Hi Jessie,

    Enjoyed your write up about Abalone.

    Do you know if abalone become different due to the food they eat? Ie they change according to the algae they eat. Which explains why abalone in different parts of the world are different.

    Would love to hear more. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for reading! Yes, abalone shells do change color based on the type of algae that they eat. Juvenile pinto abalone that eat filamentous algae are a different color than adult abalone that can eat larger algae (browns & reds). I am not sure how much of the between species differences are due to diet, but I know color differences in the same species can be due to diet.

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