Bio at Noon: Dr. Zoe Hutchison

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium (Watkins Building) 215 S Ferry Rd, Narragansett

Join us for a GSO Bio at Noon seminar by Dr. Zoe Hutchison (URI), titled “Anthropogenic electromagnetic fields influence the behavior of marine species”

Abstract: “Some marine animals can use electric and magnetic cues in vital aspects of life history, such as to detect prey, predators and mates, as well as to orientate and migrate. Potential disruption of vital cues by human activities must be understood in order to mitigate potential negative influences. Subsea cable deployments in coastal waters are increasing worldwide, in capacity and frequency, owing to growing demands in electrical power and telecommunications. Increasingly, the local electromagnetic environment used by electro- and magneto-sensitive species will be altered. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) of subsea cables and how receptor animals respond to them are of particular interest due to planned offshore renewable energy developments. We have quantified biologically relevant behavioral responses of the putative, magneto-receptive American lobster (Homarus americanus) and the electro-sensitive Little skate (Leucoraja erinacea), to electromagnetic field emissions of a subsea high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission cable for domestic electricity supply. At present, we are assessing the response of the magneto-receptive, migratory American eel (Anguilla rostrata) to the EMF of the same HVDC cable using a dual methodological approach. Furthermore, by directly measuring both the magnetic and electric field components of the EMF emitted by HVDC cables, we found that there were DC and unexpectedly AC components. Our cross-disciplinary study highlights the need to integrate understanding of the natural and anthropogenic EMF environment together with the responses of sensitive animals when planning future cable deployments and predicting their environmental interactions.”

Event Type

Lectures / Presentations


Graduate School of Oceanography



Graduate School of Oceanography
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