[MARMAM] New Publication: Naturally stressed? Glucocorticoid profiles in blubber of blue and gray whales in response to life history parameters

Valentina Melica valentinamelica88 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 21:01:56 PDT 2022

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of a new
manuscript in Marine Mammal Science

Melica, V., Atkinson, S., Calambokidis, J., Gendron, D., Lang, A., &
Scordino, J. (2022). Naturally stressed? Glucocorticoid profiles in blubber
of blue and gray whales in response to life history parameters. *Marine
Mammal Science*. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12954

The goal of the present study was to carry out a thorough methodological
validation and describe baseline profiles for glucocorticoid hormones
(cortisol and corticosterone) in blubber from blue (*n =* 77) and gray (*n
=* 103) whales from the eastern North Pacific Ocean. For each species, we
modelled cortisol and corticosterone concentrations in response to life
history parameters (age, sex, reproductive status) and season or geographic
location. In blue whales, cortisol concentrations did not vary
significantly by age class, sex, or reproductive status, whereas
corticosterone was significantly lower in immature than in adult females (
*p* < .001). In gray whales, cortisol concentrations were significantly
higher in lactating whales (*p* < .05), while corticosterone was
significantly different between females and males (*p* = .001) and elevated
in calves (*p =* .003). In gray whales, corticosterone concentrations were
significantly lower in males sampled later in the year (August to November)
compared to both sexes sampled between March and August (*p* = .05), but no
seasonal trend occurred in blue whales. Our results indicate that
glucocorticoid actions vary between species and sex in large whales.
Analysis of multiple hormones improves our understanding of the physiology
of maintaining metabolic homeostasis or coping with chronic stressors.

Please contact valentinamelica88 at gmail.com if you'd like a copy of the
manuscript or if you have any questions.
Kind regards,


Valentina Melica, PhD
Italy-US Fulbright Alumna

*If we surrenderedto earth’s intelligencewe could rise up rooted, like
*-Rainer Maria Rilke*
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