Friday, February 14th at 11:00AM, Edmunds 111, Pomona College
How animals navigate during long-distance migration remains one of the most enduring unsolved mysteries of Earth System science. Advances in satellite-monitored animal tracking technology present unprecedented opportunities to observe animal movement behaviors in the wild and analyze the environmental cues these animals experienced at the spatial and temporal scales at which navigational decisions are made. As these cues may be derived from the geosphere, atmosphere or hydrosphere, the challenge of animal navigation necessarily moves beyond the traditional boundaries of biological science and crosses into the realm of earth system science. For example, it is difficult to envision research on animal navigation without calling upon the expertise of geophysicists as well as biologists given the widespread acceptance of a navigational magnetic sense in many species.Horton will present state-of-the-art humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae) and osprey (Pandion haliaetus) long-distance migration satellite tracking data in a variety of spatial and temporal contexts. The data and interpretations I will present are extremely relevant to our understanding of how animals navigate, in addition to bigger picture questions regarding how we can best protect and preserve these species and their habitats. The key message of this talk will be: cross-disciplinary problems require cross-disciplinary expertise and solutions.