"What Can Puffins Tell Us About The Impact Of Climate Change On Marine Ecosystems?”
John F. Piatt, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, Seabird and Forage Fish Ecology Program Leader
USGS Alaska Science Center, Anchorage AK
3 pm, via ZOOM
Lecture is FREE
Our lecture series, The Future of Oceans, draws on the commitment of professional researchers and educators across all academic spectrums to help define and inspire the health of our oceans.
The Port Townsend Marine Science Center continues the lecture series by welcoming John F. Piatt, Ph.D. John’s talk will focus on Tufted Puffins in Alaska, how the composition of their diets reflects long-term cycles in marine climate, and how puffins and other seabirds reacted to the strong marine heatwave (“The Blob”) in 2014-2016.
Dr. Piatt got hooked on seabirds in the 1970s while working on a large puffin colony in Newfoundland. Following stints as a summer naturalist at a gannet colony, and surveying birds and whales off the coasts of Labrador and Baffin Island, he turned in the 1980s to studies of the ecological relationships between capelin (a marine smelt), cod, seabirds, and whales for his Ph.D. at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Lured to Alaska in 1987 to study auklets in the Bering Sea, Dr. Piatt remained to work there for 34 more years on seabirds and marine food webs and is now a senior research scientist at the USGS Alaska Science Center. His current research focuses on the overarching role of ocean climate in regulating the abundance and quality of the forage fish that support seabird populations.