Claire Simeone: Understanding the Role of Sinus Parasites in Cetaceans Stranded Along the California Coast

Claire Simeone SF Bay Area ACS Grantee:
“Understanding the Role of Sinus Parasites in Cetaceans Stranded Along the California Coast”
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA

ivancic-et-al-2014Cetaceans strand for a variety of reasons, including infectious disease, trauma, intoxication and parasitism. Small cetaceans commonly have parasites that inhabit the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. Worms can inhabit the sinuses, as well as the ear canal and middle ear. These parasites have occasionally been found damaging the nerves and brain of animals, causing disruption of equilibrium or acoustic abilities. However, it is unknown whether these parasites are commonly encountered without causing neurologic issues. Computed tomography (CT) scans assist researchers by providing important baseline data on the effects of these parasites on the animal’s health. The Marine Mammal Center and California Academy of Sciences are working together to better understand the role parasites play in strandings, in order to help us better manage live cetacean strandings in the future. Research Objective: determine the role sinus parasites play in stranded cetaceans in central California, by combining data from gross necropsy, histopathology, and advanced imaging.

About Dr. Claire Simeonedr-claire-simeone
Dr. Claire Simeone is the Conservation Medicine Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center and with National Marine Fisheries Service. She leads the International Veterinary In-Residence (IVIR) training program, in which marine mammal veterinarians spend three months at the Center, studying medicine and participating in a collaborative research project. ACS San Francisco Bay has supported two Residents in their research projects focused on cetacean health in the Bay. In addition to providing clinical care to the marine mammals undergoing rehabilitation at The Marine Mammal Center, she also responds to Unusual Mortality Events, provides veterinary support for field projects across the country and works on a variety of research projects.