ALICIA GUERRERO

I am a marine biologist and currently a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales. I grew up in a small beach town in the north of Chile, so the ocean has always been part of my life. My greatest passion is marine mammals. I am especially interested in the ecology and physiology of these wonderful animals.

 

CURRENT WORK / RESEARCH

I'm currently studying marine mammal’s fat, or blubber, in order to learn a bit more about their feeding ecology and also their physiology. How does this work?

PAST EDUCATION & WORK

I completed my undergraduate studies in Chile, my home country, at the Universidad Católica del Norte, in Coquimbo. During my honours research, I worked on mother-pup behaviour in the South American sea lion.

PUBLICATIONS

SCHOLARSHIPS / GRANTS / AWARDS

  • 2015 – Student travel grant by The Society of Marine Mammalogy

  • 2015 - Conference travel fund by the Postgraduate Research Student Support, UNSW

  • 2014 - SCAR Open Science Conference - Best Poster Presentation

  • 2013 – Overseas doctorate scholarship by Becas Chile

  • 2007 - First Conference of Marine Science Students (Chile) – Best Oral Presentation

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Alicia Guerrero

Find my Publications 

at ReseachGate

Feeding ecology: Blubber and dietary predictions

 

When a predator eats, the fatty acids obtained from its prey are transferred with minimal modification into its blubber.

 

Thus, fatty acids in the predator blubber can give us information on what this animal has been eating.

In order to obtain accurate predictions it is important to know if fatty acids obtained from diet are uniformly distributed across the blubber core. I studied the composition and distribution of fatty acids in leopard seals and the implications for dietary inference. You can check out this study

 

You can check out this study here

Physiology: Role of fatty acids in thermoregulation

 

But not all fatty acids are obtained from diet. Sometimes animals need to make or modify fatty acids in order to fulfil their body demands. I am currently studying the role of fatty acids in thermoregulation. The quality of insulation can be improved by changing the type of fatty acids making up the blubber. I am looking at the effect of environmental temperatures in the blubber composition of mammals inhabiting extremely different climates.

Guerrero A., Negrete J., Marquez M., Mennucci J., Zaman K. and T. Rogers. 2016. Vertical fatty acid composition in the blubber of leopard seals and the implications for dietary analysis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 478: 54-61.