Kudos to Taryn Gervais, a Tufts veterinary student who worked on a summer project with SEANET last year. Taryn peformed necropsies on Northern Gannets and sampled their organs for contaminants. She had an eye toward comparing and contrasting the general body condition, disease states, and contaminant loads between gannets that washed up dead on SEANET beaches and gannets that were taken as bycatch (accidentally killed due to entanglement in fishing gear.) It has long been hypothesized that bycaught birds can be used as a good representative sample of healthy birds, but some have questioned this assumption suggesting that birds that feed near fishing vessels might be weakened, sick, or otherwise unable to forage normally without a boost from discarded bait.
Taryn has endured the typical grueling schedule of a vet student and is now on a well deserved summer break after her second year. But not one to rest on her laurels, Taryn has cranked out a draft of a paper she hopes to publish on this topic. Writing up the results of a project is generally the most daunting part of the process, and SEANET is most proud of Taryn. We are confident that Taryn will manage to get this paper published, and we will let you know when she makes her first appearance in a scientific journal–a rare feat for a vet student. Keep up the great work Taryn!