Jooke Robbins

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Telomeres, the protective cap of chromosomes, have emerged as powerful markers of biological age and life history in model and non-model species. The qPCR method for telomere length estimation is one of the most common methods for telomere length estimation, but has received recent critique for being too error-prone and yielding unreliable results. This(More)
Microbes are now well regarded for their important role in mammalian health. The microbiology of skin--a unique interface between the host and environment--is a major research focus in human health and skin disorders, but is less explored in other mammals. Here, we report on a cross-population study of the skin-associated bacterial community of humpback(More)
Cultural transmission, the social learning of information or behaviors from conspecifics, is believed to occur in a number of groups of animals, including primates, cetaceans, and birds. Cultural traits can be passed vertically (from parents to offspring), obliquely (from the previous generation via a nonparent model to younger individuals), or horizontally(More)
1Marine Mammal Research Unit, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 2Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada 3Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University, Western Australia 4Cascadia Research Collective, Olympia, WA, USA 5New England Aquarium, Boston, MA, USA 6School of Biology,(More)
For cetaceans, population structure is traditionally determined by molecular genetics or photographically identified individuals. Acoustic data, however, has provided information on movement and population structure with less effort and cost than traditional methods in an array of taxa. Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce a continually(More)
Age is a fundamental aspect of animal ecology, but is difficult to determine in many species. Humpback whales exemplify this as they have a lifespan comparable to humans, mature sexually as early as 4 years and have no reliable visual age indicators after their first year. Current methods for estimating humpback age cannot be applied to all individuals and(More)
Seasonal feeding behavior and high fidelity to feeding areas allow humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to be used as biological indicators of regional contamination. Biopsy blubber samples from male individuals (n = 67) were collected through SPLASH, a multinational research project, in eight North Pacific feeding grounds. Additional male samples (n =(More)
Humpback whales have a continually evolving vocal sexual display, or "song," that appears to undergo both evolutionary and "revolutionary" change. All males within a population adhere to the current content and arrangement of the song. Populations within an ocean basin share similarities in their songs; this sharing is complex as multiple variations of the(More)
Martine Bérubé*, Mary Beth Rew, Hans Skaug, Hanne Jørgensen, Jooke Robbins, Peter Best, Richard Sears & Per J. Palsbøll Ecosystem Sciences Division – ESPM, Hilgard #3110, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA; Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark; Institute of Marine Research, Box 1870(More)
Genetic identification of individuals is now commonplace, enabling the application of tagging methods to elusive species or species that cannot be tagged by traditional methods. A key aspect is determining the number of loci required to ensure that different individuals have non-matching multi-locus genotypes. Closely related individuals are of particular(More)