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MSc PROJECT: HOW DO SEALS BREATHE? (WRAP-UP)

by Judith Ullmann

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, October 2019: I completed my master’s on the respiratory physiology of the harp seal under the main supervision of Prof. Lars P. Folkow at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology – with Grade A, hurra!

The steps to success: I wrote my magnum opus to date (thesis), gave a 45-minute public presentation (defense Part 1), and took a two-hour oral exam with the examination committee (defense Part 2). Easy, right? The number of steps before these final three, I did not bother counting. – A word of advice… ; )


My project in a nutshell
Seals are special when it comes to breathing. They have lungs like we do and breathe air to get the oxygen needed for metabolic processes (in short, to run the body chemistry that keeps them alive). Unlike us, these marine mammals can (and usually do) spend about 90% of their time at sea underwater. Beneath the surface, they hunt and travel and rest for long periods, sometimes hours. Surface stopovers to…

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