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Elan Portner


Elan Portner
Graduate Student

My work in the Gilly lab is focused on the definition of suitable habitat for Humboldt squid based on temperature and food availability. I use scientific sonar and diet analysis to quantify the availability of Humboldt squid food (mostly small fishes and squids) and to describe how the density and distribution of food affects what Humboldt squid are eating. I measure temperature throughout the water column to assess whether changes in the thermal profile will exclude Humboldt squid from portions of the water column. These thermal and biological data are combined into mathematical models that allow me to describe how food availability and temperature interact to produce suitable habitat for Humboldt squid and to define thresholds for these characteristics, that when crossed produce the astounding plasticity observed in the distribution and life history of Humboldt squid.