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Fitbits for seals? Using new technology to pry into the intimate lives of grey seals

Friday 18 January, 18.29pm-6.45pm – Newcastle University – Ridley Building 2, room RIDB2.1.65

With Courtney Shuert

Technology is rapidly evolving. Recent advances in sensor technology have allowed us to track our every movement, daily routines, and the calories we burn over time. Here I present my work applying similar technologies to pry into the intimate lives of grey seal mothers as they raise their pups through the intensive, two and a half week lactation period taking place every autumn. Tracking trends in movement and heart rate in these wild grey seals over this period has revealed some interesting strategies to managing such a energy-demanding period including differences in behaviour and innate personality, as well as how individuals are able to cope physiologically with the various pressures of a warming climate and, ultimately, how these differences may affect her pup’s development.