Sleeping while Diving: Developing non-invasive methods to record sleep in freely swimming marine mammals

Jessie Kendall-Bar – Costa Lab

Positions: 2 interns

Tentative dates: June – August 2021

Project Location: Coastal Science Campus with occasional field trips to Año Nuevo State Park and The Marine Mammal Center (COVID-pending)

Project Background: Are you interested in the neuroscience and behaviors of deep diving marine mammals? I am! I’m looking for help characterizing the rest behavior of elephant seals, specifically with analyzing video, sleep, and motion sensor data from sleep studies of elephant seals. Most of the data has been collected already, but there may also be some opportunities to help out with the animals in the field or at The Marine Mammal Center, where I perform some of my studies. Depending on your goals, this project could constitute enough for a peer reviewed publication and/or a presentation at a conference. Please let me know if you would be interested!

Intern duties: Learning to score sleep based on patterns of electrical activity and behavior based on video data, learning basic statistical programming skills in R/MATLAB, assisting with electrical recordings, note-taking, and data entry, and learning to work with wild marine mammals in the field.

Intern qualifications: Some background in biology would be helpful as well as a preliminary understanding of data processing software such as Excel or Matlab or R. However, I can provide all the training that is needed for this project. All that I ask is that the applicant is motivated, careful, and has a good attitude.

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?
Yes, that would be very helpful.

UC Santa Cruz Land Acknowledgement

“The land from which we base our work is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.”