Dr. Amy Bishop
Male grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) displaying a Body Slap. This behaviour generates substrate vibrations that contain information on male size. How other individuals use the information is still unknown, but the behaviour is only seen at certain breeding colonies!
Amy Bishop is a marine ecologist collaborating with the Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission to revitalize the biosampling program in the Aleutians. This program involves training Native subsistence hunters to collect biological tissues and measurements from subsistence harvested harbor seals. This will provide information about the ecology and health of seals in the Aleutians, and also help assess the health and quality of resources Alaska Natives rely on for food, spiritual strength, and cultural tradition.
Her dissertation research focused on the behavioural ecology of mating systems, specifically the behavioural mechanisms of conflict and conflict reduction used by male grey seals in the United Kingdom. This work revealed how selection pressures drive behavioural and physiological responses to human-induced and natural disturbances. She also modeled the interplay between environmental and social-group characteristics in driving animal breeding strategies. For more information on her work, you can read past blog posts here.
Recently, she was part of a team which documented a rare behaviour for pinnipeds, and this finding has been highlighted by New Scientist.
Bishop A, Onoufriou J, Moss S, Pomeroy P, and Twiss SD. 2016. Cannibalism by a Male Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) in the North Sea. Aquatic Mammals. 42: 137-143.
Bishop A, Pomeroy P, and Twiss, SD. 2015. Variability in individual rates of aggression in wild grey seals: Fine-scale analysis reveals importance of social and spatial stability. Behav. Eco and Socbio, 69: 1663-1675.
Bishop A, Pomeroy P, and Twiss, SD. 2015. Breeding male grey seals exhibit similar activity budgets across varying exposures to human activity. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 527:247-259.
Bishop A, Denton P, Pomeroy P, and Twiss SD. 2015. Good vibrations by the beach boys: Magnitude of substrate vibrations is a reliable indicator of male grey seal size. Animal Behaviour. 100:74-82.