Tag: Ecology

Chasing the Wild Abalone: Confessions of a Field Biologist

To be honest, I love abalone and have always been fascinated by this most unusual of snails. In college I truly began to “chase the abalone” which led me to become a field biologist. So these are my confessions; some of my adventures while chasing abalone. Things I normally wouldn’t admit to but looking back were just part of the lore of being a field biologist.

The Elephant Seals of Año Nuevo

The year was 1987 and I was searching for a place where black abalone were largely undisturbed so I could complete my dissertation. The island was the perfect location: isolated, difficult to access, federally protected, and surrounded by seal- and shark- infested waters. During my first low tide on the island I was ecstatic: blacks were common and it was the perfect place to conduct a study but there were elephant seals everywhere.

How to Become a Marine Biologist: Being Successful in Graduate School 

  So you made it! You’ve been accepted into a graduate program and are starting your career as a graduate student. Congratulations! You are among a small group of individuals that have the privilege of working beyond your baccalaureate degree. Now what? As I have discussed previously grad school is very different from your undergraduate…

Ocean Conservation for Surfers: Why Care about Healthy Oceans?

I recently attended a conference sponsored by the European Association of Surfing Doctors; a group of surfers that are also medical doctors and health practitioners. Held near Biarritz in the beautiful Basque region of southern France I was tasked with telling the group why they should care about a healthy ocean and what they can do about it.…

Paleozoic Puzzle: the Origins of Abalone

Around the world they are  called abulón, awabi, bàoyú, ormer, ormeau, pāua, perlemoen, pauhi, haliote but all are abalone. Abalones (family Haliotidae) are all in the genus Haliotis (“ear shells”) a worldwide group of snails known for their beautiful iridescent shells and incredible tasty meat. In many places of the world abalone are (or were) multi-million dollar fisheries…