Kirstin Webb

Honours Student

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I am currently an honours student at the University of Pretoria in the Mammal Research Institute. I have always had a passion for conservation and understanding the ways in which the natural world and its organisms interact and regulate themselves. I believe a strong scientific background is a stepping stone toward understanding these concepts and enabling other people to understand and begin to appreciate its workings as well. My honours project is looking at the diet and movement behaviour of the Weddell seals from within the deep Weddell sea. This research is unique as the data originates from an area in the Weddell sea that, until last year, 2018, had not been accessed since 1995. The project will use stable isotope analysis to assess the trophic position and foraging habits of the Weddell seals in this area. Additionally, tracking data will be analysed to assess the movements of the seals in the deep sea and along the Filchner Ronne Ice Shelf. The stable isotope and tracking data will then be compared with available data regarding movement and diet from Weddell seals elsewhere in the Antarctic.