- Bowhead Feeding Studies
- Environmental Impacts
- A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale
Principal Investigator:J. Craig George, Ph.D.
Collaborators: AEWC; C. Nicholson (University of Massachusetts Amherst); S. Drobot and J. Maslanik (University of Colorado Boulder); Lara Horstmann-Dehn (UAF)
- To develop a bowhead body condition index (BCI) using external morphological measurements, including multiple girth measurements.
- Examine the ecological relationships between sea ice concentration and BCI.
- Test for differences in BCI between years with "heavy" and "light" sea ice conditions.
- To correlate BCI using morphological measurements with lipid content in blubber as another index for body condition.
- A greater BCI for bowhead whales was seen during light ice years as compared to heavy ice years.
- The BCI may prove to be a useful tool for health assessment.
L. Horstmann-Dehn, et al. 2015. Fat chance - Uptake, modification, and storage of fatty acids in bowhead whales. Oral presentation at the 2015 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska.
L.Horstmann-Dehn, et al. 2016. 10 years of bowhead whale blubber – A retrospective analysis of body condition and contribution of sea ice derived fatty acids to bowhead whale prey. Poster presented at the 2016 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska.
Sformo, T. et al. 2017. Field methods: Study of oil and dispersant on mysticete whale baleen. Poster presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, January 2017.
Other studies on baleen:
Werth, A.J. 2001. How do mysticetes remove prey trapped in baleen? Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 156(1):189-203.
Werth, A.J. 2013. Flow-dependent porosity and other biomechanical properties of mysticete baleen. Journal of Experimental Biology 216:1152-1159. Doi:10.1242/jeb.078931.
Werth, A.J., R.W. HArriss, M.V. Rosario, J.C. George, T.L. Sformo. 2016. Hydration affects the physical and mechanical properties of baleen tissue. Royal Society Open Science 3:160591. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160591.
Principal Investigator: Steve Okkonen (UAF)
Collaborators: AEWC, NSB-DWM, UAF, ADF&G, NOAA/NMML, AOOS, Univ of Washington, NASA, WHOI, Univ of Rhode Island
Funding: BOEM, NOAA
Objectives: To create a calendar on the life of the bowhead whale, incorporating natural history and traditional knowledge. The calendar includes pictures, stories, and data on the bowhead whale from different research groups.
Arctic Currents: A Year in the Life of the Bowhead Whale (an animated film) Blog This blog follows the creation of a short animated film about the annual migration of the bowhead whale. The narrative comes from the calendar above. The work is being done by University of Alaska Museum of the North, including Roger Topp, his staff and UAF student employees.The film is funded by BOEM, UAF, and CIFAR.
You can also access these films on the UAF Museum webpage.
Banner photo credit: Vicki Beaver