Matt has long had a passion for the natural world, seen somehow by him first from his home in New York City. He has also been deeply involved in ocean outreach, being a finalist in 2016 in the UC Grad Slam competition and in 2017 giving a TEDx-talk on marine plastic pollution. Over the years, he had captivated audiences at state parks, museums, aquariums, and elementary schools. He’ll tell us about his current work on whale diets. The world’s biggest animals have the world’s biggest appetites but how much they eat and how they do it has been a mystery. Using new data from high resolution smart tags, drone video, and active prey mapping with sonar, he finds that prior estimates of food consumption have beensystematically underestimated. One reason this is important is because whales are ecosystem engineers, eating vast quantities of food in one place and then excreting waste products backout as ocean fertilizer in a different part of the water column. Join him (virtually) for a talk about whale behavior, bounty and bowels, and the surprising ecosystem services provided by whales. Attendance is free, but you must register in advance. See link below.
Matt Savoca is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Hopkins Marine Station, Stanfor University