Welcome to the Thometz Lab

How do physiological traits influence the behavior, ecology, and survival of marine mammals? This question is central to understanding how different species are able to respond to both anthropogenic disturbance and environmental change. Currently, marine mammals face a variety of challenges including: fisheries interactions, resource limitation, habitat degradation, noise pollution, and climate change. These issues and many more are concerning to biologists, resource managers, and conservationists. In the Thometz Lab at the University of San Francisco, we examine how physiological and behavioral parameters at the individual level can scale up to population level implications. We utilize a variety of laboratory and field-based techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of the physiological capacities and limitations of various marine mammal species. Understanding the underlying physiology of a given species and its ability to adapt or respond to changing conditions can provide critical information to aid in management and conservation efforts.

How do physiological traits influence the behavior, ecology, and survival of marine mammals? This question is central to understanding how different species are able to respond to both anthropogenic disturbance and environmental change. Currently, marine mammals face a variety of challenges including: fisheries interactions, resource limitation, habitat degradation, noise pollution, and climate change. These issues and many more are concerning to biologists, resource managers, and conservationists. In the Thometz Lab at the University of San Francisco, we examine how physiological and behavioral parameters at the individual level can scale up to population level implications. We utilize a variety of laboratory and field-based techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of the physiological capacities and limitations of various marine mammal species. Understanding the underlying physiology of a given species and its ability to adapt or respond to changing conditions can provide critical information to aid in management and conservation efforts.

How do physiological traits influence the behavior, ecology, and survival of marine mammals? This question is central to understanding how different species are able to respond to both anthropogenic disturbance and environmental change. Currently, marine mammals face a variety of challenges including: fisheries interactions, resource limitation, habitat degradation, noise pollution, and climate change. These issues and many more are concerning to biologists, resource managers, and conservationists. In the Thometz Lab at the University of San Francisco, we examine how physiological and behavioral parameters at the individual level can scale up to population level implications. We utilize a variety of laboratory and field-based techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of the physiological capacities and limitations of various marine mammal species. Understanding the underlying physiology of a given species and its ability to adapt or respond to changing conditions can provide critical information to aid in management and conservation efforts.

Recent Lab News

January 2019

 

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting. Tampa, FL.

The Thometz Lab traveled to Tampa, FL to present a poster and two oral presentations at the annaul SICB meeting. Mariah Tengler gave an oral presentation on the physiological properties of bearded seal locomotor muscle, Michelle Hartwick presented a poster of her research concerning seasonal changes in Arctic seal body condition, and Dr. Thometz gave an oral presentation focused on the metabolic consequences of molt in spotted, ringed, and bearded seals. 

May 2018

 

Research Trip to the Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward, AK)

Dr. Thometz traveled to Seward, Alaska to work with our research partners at the Alaska SeaLife Center. In the photo to the left, Dr. Thometz is working cooperatively with a young male ringed seal named Pimniq, to take detailed photos of his coat during his annual molt. During their annual molt, Arctic seals shed all of their fur and several layers of their epidermis. We are conducting research to better understand the physiological and energetic consequences of molt in ringed, bearded, and spotted seals. 

April 2018

 

USF Creative Activities & Research Day (CARD)

USF Junior Esther Grady (pictured) and graduate student Mariah Tengler presented posters at USF's annual Creative Activities and Research Day. Esther presented her research: "Using Photogrammetry to Examine Ontogenetic and Longitudinal Patterns of Growth and Body Condition in Artic Seals". Mariah presented her research: "Aerobic and Anaerobic Properties of Bearded Seal Locomotor Muscle". 

January 2018

 

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

The Thometz Lab presented poster and oral presentations of our collaborative research project, examining the unique physiology of bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus).

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