Early Antarctic explorers in the Ross Sea


As you’ve probably heard in the news,  the Council for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) recently announced the creation of the world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Ross Sea (see press release here). This is, without a doubt, a major success in our efforts to preserve the most pristine marine ecosystem left on Planet Earth, and making sure that the living organisms that inhabit this system are protected from exploitation. The …

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Meet The Onion


No, I’m not talking about myself (although I do have many layers). Work in Antarctica is all fun and full of glamour, except when it gets cold and windy (i.e. all the time). As I have mentioned before, we are conducting a series of necropsies on dead animals that we have to find before they freeze, in order to harvest fresh samples that will later allow our team to grow cells in the lab. It is a sad …

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Elephant Seal Research Through the Eyes of a New Undergraduate Volunteer

Sleeping juvenile at Ano Nuevo State Park

As an incoming transfer student to UC Santa Cruz from inland Southern California, being able to assist with the elephant seal research conducted by the Costa Lab is an extraordinary opportunity. Last week, I had my first day out in the field with the seals; the incredible beauty of watching the sunrise while juveniles played in the waves and sparred each other was also my first introduction to Ano Nuevo State Park . So far this …

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Warning: This post might contain bloody pictures (Ewww! Gross!)

Biologist are weird creatures. Most people like to stay the heck away from blood, which is more than normal, acceptable and sane. Biologists, however, happen to have to get in bloody messes as part of their job so that science can happen. Let’s recap though. Last time we heard about the adventures of B-267 was last year, and we had successfully finished our field season collecting samples from placentas, dead animals and live animals to …

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