July 2014 – This Just In

July 2014 – This Just In
Marine Mammal Research Unit

Steller sea lion diving awarded Gold Medal

gerlinsky-tFor more than 125 years, one gold medal has been awarded each year to the graduate student who has achieved the most outstanding academic record as a Master’s student completing a thesis. This year, MMRU’s Carling Gerlinskywas chosen to receive the award from among approximately 1,000 Master’s graduates at the University of British Columbia for her research on the diving ability of Steller sea lions. Carling received her medal at the recent convocation ceremonies on behalf of the Governor General of Canada.

Carling started her thesis with a single question and, as with all good science, ended up answering many more.  Among her discoveries was that Steller sea lions will never win any medals for diving! They have an incredibly short aerobic dive limit (just 3 minutes) compared to other seals and sea lions, and that nutritionally stressed sea lions have increased blood volume (counter to all predictions).

With three publications under her belt from her MSc thesis, Carling has set her mark on the world of diving physiology.

Sensitivity to hypercapnia and elimination of CO2 following diving in Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).
Gerlinsky, C.D., D.A.S. Rosen and A.W. Trites. 2014.
Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 184:535-544.
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Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) have greater blood volumes, higher diving metabolic rates and a longer aerobic dive limit when nutritionally stressed.
Gerlinsky, C.D., A.W. Trites and D.A.S. Rosen. 2014.
Journal of Experimental Biology 217:769-778.
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High diving metabolism results in a short aerobic dive limit for Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).
Gerlinsky, C. D., D. A. S. Rosen and A. W. Trites. 2013.
Journal of Comparative Physiology. B, Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology. 186:699-708.
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