Star Pavilion Saturday 2023

The snow petrel and the seal: the science behind Frozen Planet II
The polar regions are among the most rapidly warming on earth. These remote ice-dominated ecosystems play a critical role in regulating our climate. They are also home to some of our most charismatic species. Seabirds and seals can act as indicators of the health of these ecosystems, offering an insight into how the environment is changing as the planet warms. In this talk, James will describe his experiences studying the animals that live in the Arctic and Antarctic. In the Canadian Arctic we meet juvenile harp seals and discover how these animals use and rely on the seasonal sea ice. In Antarctica’s frozen interior we meet the snow petrel and learn how their vomit may hold the secret to understanding our changing oceans.

Dr James Grecian has spent the last 15 years studying how human activities are changing marine ecosystems. James’ research into the ecology of seabirds and seals has taken him all over the world, from the remote islands of New Zealand to the Canadian sea ice. His work studying the migration of harp seals across the changing Arctic Ocean was recently featured in BBC Frozen Planet II. James has just returned from Antarctica where he was studying the snow petrels that breed in the mountains of central Dronning Maud Land.

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