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PHOTO BY GRAD STUDENT NICOLE BENDER
NICOLE BENDER ★ ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION
Penguins are wonderfully charismatic seabirds that serve as an indicator species for
marine ecosystem health. Their population trends directly reflect the abundance of
organisms on a lower rung of the food chain, such as krill and phytoplankton. Understanding
the mysteries behind penguin life has become the inspiration for my dissertation work,
which will explore the complex spatial patterning of penguin colonies in the hopes
of detecting and protecting those in danger of local extirpation.
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