Barbara Block (Researcher/Scientist/Professor)

barbara-block.jpgDr. Barbara A. Block researches how large pelagic fish such as tunas, billfishes, and sharks, use the open ocean environment.

Professor Block and her colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium have also established the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, a unique facility that permits physiological research on tunas. They are employing new techniques in wildlife telemetry and molecular genetics to directly examine the short and long-term movement patterns, stock structure and behavior of tunas and billfishes.

The fish are highly exploited in international fisheries and effective management of existing biodiversity requires an understanding of their biology and population structure.

The Block lab actively engages in research at sea to understand the movements and physiological ecology of tunas and billfishes and to gain insight into the selective advantage of endothermy in fishes.

Block and her colleagues are conducting research with a new type of remote telemetry device, call pop-up satellite archival tags. The tags are essentially computers that record navigational information, body temperature, depth, and ambient temperature data.

The information gained with these tags will improve our understanding of the biology of these species and increase our knowledge of stock structure. The successful implementation of the novel satellite and archival tag technology has provided marine researchers with new tools for studying inaccessible marine vertebrates.

Professor Block is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Related links:
Sylvia Earle's TED Prize Wish To Protect Our Oceans
The Mission Blue Voyage – a project of the TED Prize