Professor of Biology
University of California - Santa Cruz
Professor Williams has
been studying large mammals for over 30 years. She obtained her doctorate in Environmental and
Exercise Physiology from Rutgers University (1981) and completed her post-doctoral studies at the
Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Research Department of the San Diego Zoological Society.
She was Director of the Valdez Sea Otter Rescue Center following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and
co-founder of the Center for Ocean Health at Long Marine Lab (at UCSC), where she held the first
Endowed Chair in Ocean Health. Her research expeditions have taken her around the world to study the
survival strategies of Weddell seals in Antarctica, Steller sea lions, sea otters and killer whales in Alaska,
as well as cheetahs, lions and elephants in Africa. Her primary question is how do large (> 21 kg)
animals survive in a rapidly changing world? Recognizing that the key to survival for both humans and
animals is food, she and her colleagues have used miniaturized instruments carried by wild animals to
record the hunting strategies of both marine and terrestrial predators. With her team, she is working with
aquariums, zoological parks, and research scientists across the globe to ensure healthy environments for
both people and wildlife.
Holes in the planet landscape: The importance of resource "oases" for large mammal survival
Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 4:00pm, Natural Resources 113
(Each seminar will be preceded by a reception with coffee, punch and cookies in the Natural Resources Atrium at 3:30pm)
Do carnivores count calories? How environmental perturbation is leading to an energy crisis in large populations
Thursday, March 5, 2009, 4:00pm, Natural Resources 113
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