Many individual animals have devoted their time and special talents in the service of research projects since the program's inception. Each one holds a special place in the history of the laboratory. We recognize their tireless efforts, their unique personalities, and their invaluable contributions to our understanding of marine mammal sensory biology, cognition, and behavior.
 

Selka
Female southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Selka is an adult female southern sea otter born off the coast of California in 2012. After stranding as a pup, she was rescued, rehabilitated, and released into the wild by the Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and she lived as a wild otter for about 2 years. After multiple strandings during this time period, Selka was finally deemed non-releasable by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She joined our research program in 2014 to participate in sensory studies, and just returned to her home at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in August 2016. During her time working with our program, Selka helped us to collect some of the first data linking perceptual capabilities to foraging ecology in sea otters.

 
siku

Siku
Male bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus)

Siku was a male bearded seal born in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska in spring 2014. His name is the Alaskan Inuit word for "ice." Siku came to our program from the Alaska SeaLife Center in early February 2015 for our ice seal bioacoustics project, and became the first bearded seal ever to participate in studies of sensory biology. Unfortunately, we lost Siku unexpectedly in March 2016. During his short time with the program, Siku helped us learn about the previously unstudied underwater hearing capabilities of his species.

 

Natchek
Male ringed seal (Pusa hispida)

Natchek is a male ringed seal who was born in the wild in 1996. After stranding as a pup, Natchek was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego where he lived in the Wild Arctic exhibit as a public display animal. Natchek joined our lab in December 2011 and was a valued research animal and collaborator until he returned to Sea World in December of 2014. Studies of Natchek's hearing are featured in a 2015 article in the Journal of Experimental Biology. His cooperation in behavioral tests of amphibious hearing changed our understanding of how ringed seals perceive their environment. Natchek, whose name means "ringed seal" in the inupiat language, is one of the most unusual animals we have ever worked with. Known for being stubborn, brave, thoughtful, hard-working, and persistent, Natchek is deeply missed by the entire team.

natchek
   
Charlie
Male southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Charlie is an adult male resident southern sea otter of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. He joined our program temporarily in 2011 to participate in our ongoing sea otter hearing study. Charlie is one of the most well-tempered and easygoing sea otters that we have had the opportunity to work with. He participated in several hearing projects during his time here, the results of which are described in a 2014 article in the Journal of Comparative Physiology A. His efforts allowed us to gain much-needed insight into the auditory capabilities of sea otters, about which nothing was previously known. Our cooperative work with sea otters has been a special opportunity for the entire team.
   

Odin
Male southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Odin was an adult male southern sea otter who was born in the wild in 2003. He first stranded at approximately three weeks of age, and was subsequently rescued, rehabilitated, and released through the combined efforts of The Marine Mammal Center and the Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program at Monterey Bay Aquarium. After a series of strandings and rehabilitations over the next five years, Odin was officially deemed non-releaseable in August 2008. Odin joined our program at Long Marine Lab in late 2008 to serve as a subject for a study investigating the amphibious hearing capabilities of sea otters. After helping us collect these important hearing data and teaching our team about conducting cooperative behavioral research with otters, Odin unfortunately passed away in June of 2014.

   
RUFUS Rufus
Male southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)

Rufus was a male southern sea otter who briefly joined our research program in 2008 from Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program. Unfortunately, due to his fear of people, Rufus was deemed unsuitable for participation in behavioral research. He was transported back to the Monterey Bay Aquarium when Odin arrived at Long Marine Lab.
   

Burnyce
Female northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)

Burnyce was born in the wild somewhere near the Channel Islands during the winter of 1993. She beached and was subsequently rehabilitated at Sea World, San Diego, and then transferred to Dr. Schusterman’s care at Long Marine Lab in the spring of 1994. She was just over a year old at the time. Northern elephant seals have rarely been kept successfully in captivity, and Burnyce’s presence in the program presented a special opportunity to learn more about elephant seal behavior, biology, sensory systems, and husbandry in a controlled, captive setting. During her time at Long Marine Lab, Burnyce participated in perceptual tasks involving both audition and vision. For example, her results from a pupillometry study demonstrated that elephant seals can dark adapt remarkably fast – in only about 6 minutes – the time it takes a free-diving elephant seal to reach foraging depths of 600 to 800 m. Burnyce continued to teach us about elephant seal sensory systems, including aerial hearing sensitivity, aerial auditory masking, and directional hearing, until she passed away in 2011.

   
Sadie
Female northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris)

Sadie was born in the wild during the winter of 1994. She stranded in San Diego and was brought to Sea World, San Diego in April 1994 for rehabilitation. Sadie was placed into Dr. Schusterman’s research program at Long Marine Lab in August 1994, where she was trained to participate in both auditory and visual experiments by the winter of 1995. Sadly, Sadie died of a chronic renal condition in late June of that year.
   

Gertie
Female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

Gertie was born at Marine World in Redwood City, California and is Rio’s half sister (they share the same mother). Gertie lived at Long Marine Lab from 1985 to 1989 and participated in artificial sign language studies throughout that time. Gertie was one of Dr. Schusterman's animal subjects that demonstrated the ability to understand syntax within a match-to-sample paradigm.

 
   
Bucky
Male California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

Bucky was born in captivity and lived at Marine World in Redwood City, California. Bucky was one of three sea lions that participated in Dr. Schusterman’s artificial language studies – he worked full-time with the program from 1981 to 1985. Bucky, like Rocky and Gertie, demonstrated the ability to comprehend syntax, particularly with location modifiers.
   

Lori and Tobe
Female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus)

Lori and Tobe lived at the Ecological Field Station at California State University, Hayward in the late 1970’s. Both of these fur seals participated in auditory investigations including measurement of absolute hearing sensitivities both in air and under water and measurement of masked hearing thresholds under water. These studies, conducted by Dr. Schusterman and Dr. Patrick Moore, were the first to test the aerial hearing capabilities of pinnipeds in an acoustic chamber. The results demonstrated that fur seals had more sensitive hearing than other pinnipeds tested at the time; a finding that was probably due to the quiet and controlled acoustic environment in which they were tested.

   
Spike
Male California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

Spike lived at the Stanford Research Institute and participated with Dr. Schusterman in a number of studies on visual acuity, sound production, and call directionality in the 1970s. Spike demonstrated that visual acuity in sea lions is compromised by low background light levels, especially in air. These results supported the “stenopaic” hypothesis of amphibious vision in pinnipeds. Spike’s visual acuity curves are still used today to describe how well sea lions see in air and under water.
   

Sven
Male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Sven worked with Dr. Schusterman on a number of echolocation studies in the mid to late 1970s at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in Kailua, Hawaii. These included investigations of target discrimination, stimulus control over echolocation pulses, and how attention and response bias during discrimination tasks may affect experimental outcome.

   
  Jo
Female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Dr. Schusterman worked with Jo at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in Kailua, Hawaii. Jo was trained to participate in a number of experimental procedures, including a passive sound detection task in which the payoff matrix was manipulated. Dr. Schusterman compared her results with those of one sea lion subject to show that varying the payoff matrix can be an effective way to address the response biases developed by marine mammals during psychophysical testing.
   

Ekahi
Male bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Ekahi lived at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in Hawaii in the mid to late 1970s while Dr. Schusterman was a visiting researcher there. The two cooperated in a number of echolocation studies. The results of this work were used to describe behavioral techniques for researchers of marine mammal psychophysics, including how to train stimulus control over echolocation pulses in dolphins.

   
Sam (a.k.a. "old wart lip")
Male California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

Sam was born in the wild and lived in captivity from the age of two, first at the Stanford Research Institute and then at California State University, Hayward. Throughout the 1970’s, Sam was involved in a number of studies including those investigating sea lion sound production, auditory sensitivity, frequency discrimination, sound intensity discrimination, visual acuity and shape discrimination, mirror studies, and the effects of signal probability and variation in reinforcement schedules on responding in psychophysical tasks. Through his participation in Dr. Schusterman’s research program, Sam contributed greatly to our knowledge of sea lion perceptual and cognitive capabilities.  
   

Tom and Jerry
Male Asian clawless otters (Amblonyx cineria cineria)

Tom and Jerry both lived first at the Stanford Research Institute and then at California State University, Hayward. They participated in studies conducted by Dr. Schusterman from 1970-1975 on underwater and aerial visual acuity. Their results on these tasks were compared to those of sea lions tested in similar procedures in order to determine how an “otter eye” operated relative to a “pinniped eye.” Results from these studies demonstrated that aerial and underwater visual acuity were similar in this otter species, but inferior to that of sea lions in both media.


   
Goldie
Male harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)

Goldie lived at the Stanford Research Institute until 1971, when Ron moved his lab to the Ecological Field Station at California State University, Hayward. Goldie participated in shape and size discrimination tasks as well as in visual acuity studies. Goldie’s visual abilities were compared with those of the many sea lion subjects that Dr. Schusterman had already tested. Goldie’s visual acuity was not quite as good as that of the sea lion subjects, but was superior to that of the Asian “clawless” otters, Tom and Jerry.
   

Runner
Male Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Runner worked with Dr. Schusterman on a number of studies on visual acuity, size discrimination, and underwater sound production in pinnipeds during his stay at the Stanford Research Institute in the late 1960s. His visual acuity was superior to a harbor seal’s (Goldie’s) and comparable to the several California sea lions that were also tested at the time.

   
Marty, Growler, Peabody, Nekky, and Spike
Male California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)

This group of male sea lions lived at the Stanford Research Institute during the mid to late 1960’s. Dr. Schusterman observed these individuals during a number of investigations of pinniped behavior, including those relating to sea lion sound production and directionality of barks, development of a seasonal fatted male phenomenon, and male social dominance.
   

Bibi
Female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)

Bibi was born in the wild, but lived at the Stanford Research Institute since she was a yearling in 1964. Dr. Schusterman’s collaboration with Bibi was a very productive one; the two completed many investigations of sound production, size and shape discrimination of underwater objects, reversal learning, echolocation ability, and visual acuity. Bibi’s performance in object discrimination experiments demonstrated for the first time that sea lions, unlike dolphins, do not possess sophisticated biosonar capabilities.

   
Kerry, Spade, Lone, Ted, Ben, Burma, Becky, Britt, and others
Male & female gibbons (Hylobates lar and H. pileatus)

This group of gibbons lived at the original Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Orange Park, Florida in the early 1960s.  Schusterman’s observations of these individuals led to descriptions of reciprocal food sharing, dominance in feeding order, and activity in social groups.  It was shown from this work that food sharing in young gibbons is common while forming dominance hierarchies and other antagonistic behaviors are not as evident in the social feature of these primates compared to other non-human primates.  These were some of the first reports of cooperative behavior among primates.
   

Franz, Cherry, Alpha, and others
Male & female chimpanzees (Pans troglodytes)

This group of chimps lived at the original Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Orange Park, Florida, in the early 1960s. Dr. Schusterman trained individual chimps from this group to participate in studies on reversal learning and response tendencies in learning tasks, work which comprised part of Dr. Schusterman’s dissertation at Florida State University. Results from this study showed that chimps, like children, had a strong tendency to form win-stay, lose-shift strategies during two choice discrimination tasks.

   
Squirrel Monkeys
(Saimiri sciureus)

This group of squirrel monkeys lived at in the Stanford Research Institute in the early 1970s. They were involved in a number of investigations led by Dr. Schusterman, including work on the mother-infant bond; development of reflexes, postures, and orientations; and comparative behavioral studies with old world monkeys and apes.
   
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