HPU Professor Co-authors Research with Bishop Museum and Monterey Bay Aquarium Colleagues

shearwater specimens from Bishop Museum lab

Professor of Oceanography David Hyrenbach, PhD, has co-authored a study with colleagues from the Bishop Museum and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, tracking changes in heavy metal concentrations and trophic positions in Hawaiian seabirds across time and space using archived samples (like the shearwater specimens from the Bishop Museum shown in the photograph taken by Hyrenbach) spanning 125 years (1890-2015). Using this approach, this study found that while highly-toxic metals (mercury, arsenic, lead) have declined after 1980, several other metals (copper, manganese, cadmium, iron, molybdenum) have increased after 1990. These results underscore the value of coupled analyses of trophic position and contaminants in upper-trophic marine predators, for resolving trophic transfer of pollutants and the underlying signal of contaminants in ecosystems. Read this open access article entitled “Coupled trophic and contaminant analysis in seabirds through space and time,” posted here.