Erin Pickett at UC Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab--You are what you eat, and well, so are elephant seals. At least as far as whiskers go- whisker composition changes with diet. There are a few biologists in the Costa lab studying diet using stable isotopes of whiskers. Last Spring five satellite tagged females were given a dose of an amino acid called glycine. Glycine is found naturally in the proteins of animals. Glycine made in the lab is full of nitrogen 15, a heavier version of a seal's biosynthesized nitrogen.
Jane Stevens at UC Santa Cruz Long Marine Lab - In yesterday's post, turtle researcher George Shillinger chronicled his travels with Flat Ava and Flat Joe, who came to visit the TOPP labs. Flat Ava hung out with George. Flat Joe traveled with James Ganong. They're part of the Flat Stanleys Project. James is one of TOPP's ace computer programmers. He's the genius behind the animated maps that you see on the home page and species pages.