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Mee-ya’s Role in the Project

Mee-ya Monnin is working with Dr. Markus Horning during a six month internship studying the thermoregulation in Antarctic Weddell seals, Leptonychotes weddellii.  This is Monnin’s second Antarctic internship with the Marine Mammal Institute’s Pinniped Ecology Applied Resarch Lab (PEARL).

Monnin will help determine thermoregulatory costs for Weddell seals using innovative, animal-borne electronic data loggers under varied ambient conditions and as a function of size and body condition. Additionally, Monnin will be using and applying Photomodeler, a three-dimensional photogrammetric program which allows for the non-invasive estimation of body volume and surface area using remote imaging. As part of only a seven person team in Antarctica, Monnin will play an active part in nearly all aspects of the project including: thermal and digital imaging, seal capture, restraint, weight measurement, sample collection, and application of telemetry equipment and heat flux sensors. Monnin’s efforts will also be applied towards the completion of an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Markus Horning.


The project is a collaborative effort between Dr. Markus Horning at Oregon State University, Dr. Jo-Ann Mellish with the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, AK, and Dr. Allyson Hindle with the University of Colorado Denver. The project will quantify the heat exchange between seals and their environment for water and air, and will establish energetic models for estimating the cost of thermoregulation in Weddell seals.


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