Navigation Links
Stanford marine biologist Barbara Block wins Rolex Award for Enterprise
Date:6/13/2012

Barbara Block, the Charles & Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences at at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, has been awarded a Rolex Award for Enterprise for her plan to monitor large predators off the coast of California. The biennial awards "foster a spirit of enterprise and advance human knowledge and well-being."

The award comes with a prize equivalent to approximately $104,000.

For more than two decades, Block has led a cadre of scientists from around the world in two large-scale tagging programs in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, monitoring a menagerie of marine animals, including bluefin tunas and white sharks, while serving as an advocate for ocean conservation.

Block and her colleagues have pioneered the use of electronic tags, including implantable archival tags, which are surgically implanted in tunas, and pop-up satellite archival tags, which automatically detach from animals and transmit collected data via satellite.

Building on the tags' success, Block and collaborators also launched the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, now in its 12th year. The TOPP team deployed more than 4,600 electronic tags on a variety of species in the North Pacific and collected nearly 300,000 days of animal tracking data, revealing previously unknown marine hotspots, migratory highways and details of ocean physics.

One of TOPP's most remarkable findings was that large predators from areas as diverse as the waters off New Zealand, Indonesia and Alaska congregate in the California Current a productive, cold oceanic current that flows along North America's west coast from Canada to Baja. Although they may make journeys of thousands of miles into the Pacific basin, they return to the California Current repeatedly, year after year. Block has labeled the almost pristine environment "a blue Serengeti."

"It's bursting with predators," said Block, "and it's right in our own backyard."

With the Rolex Award, Block and the TOPP research team will be able to move forward with plans to protect and monitor these areas by building "predator cafs" acoustic observatories of predator hotspots.

Rather than using satellite-based tags to follow these animals throughout their entire Pacific journeys, Block now hopes to use longer lasting and less expensive acoustic tags. A network of receivers that communicate with satellite and cell networks, both fixed at hotspots and attached to unmanned Wave Glider vehicles, will allow researchers to track predators this summer and fall in real time from Point Lobos to Tomales Point. She hopes to extend this ocean observing network down the west coast of North America.

Block's team is also building a website and mobile app that will provide real-time updates on predator movements to the general public, using 12 years of tracking data to tell the animals' full stories.

"We hope to connect the public to the predators," said Block.

Ultimately, the goal of the monitoring project will be to increase protection for these rich predator regions. Block and her colleagues suggested designating the hotspot regions of the California Current a UNESCO World Heritage Site in a recent paper in the journal Nature.

"When large predators are being eliminated in other regions of the ocean, it's important that we do all we can to protect and ensure the future of this remarkable ecosystem off our coast," Block said. "Thus far, it's remained stable despite exploitation and climate perturbations. Understanding why could teach us a lot about the ocean portion of this planet."


'/>"/>

Contact: Max McClure
maxmc@stanford.edu
650-725-6737
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Stanford scientists develop gene therapy approach to grow blood vessels in ischemic limbs
2. Keck award enables Carnegie Mellon and Stanford to dramatically expand crowdsourced RNA design
3. Climate change may create price volatility in the corn market, say Stanford and Purdue researchers
4. Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
5. Americas clean energy policies need a reality check, say Stanford researchers
6. Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds
7. Stanford scientists document fragile land-sea ecological chain
8. Stanford researchers help predict the oceans of the future with a mini-lab
9. Increase in Arctic shipping poses risk to marine mammals
10. Marine Protected Areas are keeping turtles safe
11. Size matters: Large Marine Protected Areas work for dolphins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets ... 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an ... the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... Worth, Texas (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... stem cell therapy succeeded after standard medicine failed. Many of these people had lost ... Progress, Not Regression Free Download (pdf) , “Neil takes ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A best-selling author and an international law ... Angela Duckworth and her team at Character Lab have joined Philadelphia’s ic@3401 as ... firm with decades of experience supporting high-growth companies in the technology and life ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) , ... September 19, ... ... chemical testing laboratory, is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 Science ... academic achievement, exceptional leadership qualities, and involvement with community service defray the costs ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... USA, and CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... September ... ... for optics and photonics, has announced the move of the SPIE Digital Library ... , Developed internally by SPIE to create an improved user experience and incorporate ...
Breaking Biology Technology: