Wednesday evening at the lab – Isthmus

press release: For the fall semester, [email protected] goes hybrid with both Zoom and in-person presentations (Room 1111). Zoom save link is still You can also watch a live webcast at

June 8 Alyson Fleming of the Department of Forest Ecology and Fauna speaks on “Whale Tales: Ecological Stories Recorded in Past and Present Whale Tissue.”

The description: To create meaningful conservation goals today, we often need to understand the function of past ecosystems. Tree rings, ice and sediment cores have revealed critical information about past climates. But how do we learn about past ecological conditions? Marine mammals are efficient samplers of marine ecosystems and our long history of whaling has created centuries of marine mammal specimens around the world. By applying modern molecular techniques to the analysis of old bones, teeth and baleen, we can better understand how ecosystems worked and how they have changed.

Organic: Dr. Alyson Fleming is a research associate in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His main research focuses on cetacean ecology and the biology of climate change, using top predators as indicators of their ecosystems, past and present. She uses a combination of fieldwork methods to study contemporary populations and museum collection work to study historical populations. In addition to scientific research, Dr. Fleming has worked at the intersection of science and policy, formerly with the United States Department of State and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

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