Daniel E. Crocker

Professor of Biology
Ph.D. University of California (Santa Cruz), 1995
Voicemail: (707) 664-2995
Email: crocker@sonoma.edu
Office: Darwin 242

Postdoctoral Experience:

University of California (Santa Cruz).

Research Interests:

Comparative Physiology of Vertebrates; Physiological Ecology; Bioenergetics; Behavioral Ecology; Biology of Marine Mammals.

Research Program:

My research is focused on the physiological and behavioral ecology of pinnipeds, seals and sea lions. My approach is to integrate physiology and behavior with the aim of addressing ecological theory. I am investigating physiological factors that impact the reproductive and foraging strategies used by marine predators. Much of my current research is focused on the physiology and behavior of northern elephant seals. These investigations include both field and laboratory studies. I am currently investigating the metabolic physiology and biochemistry of extended fasting in seals in research funded by NSF. I am investigating oxidative stress mechanisms in seals in NIH funded research in collaboration with Rudy Ortiz from UC Merced. I am investigating endocrine stress responses in marine mammals in work funded by the Office of Naval Research. My graduate students are exploring a wide variety of research areas including fasting physiology, diving physiology, development, stress responses, foraging behavior and life history strategies.

Recent Publications:

Peterson, S.H., J.T. Ackerman, D.E. Crocker, and D.P. Costa. 2018. Foraging and fasting can influence contaminant concentrations in animals: an example with mercury contamination in a free-ranging marine mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 285:20172782.

Chinn S.M., D.H. Monson, M.T. Tinker, M.M. Staedler, D.E. Crocker. 2018. Lactation and resource limitation affect stress responses, thyroid hormones, immune function and antioxidant capacity of sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Ecology and Evolution. 8: 8433-8447.

Meyer, W.K., J. Jamison, R. Richter, S.E. Woods, R. Partha, A.Kowalczyk, C. Kronk, M. Chikina, R.K. Bonde, D.E. Crocker, J.Gaspard, J.M. Lanyon, J. Marsillach, C.E. Furlong, N.L. Clark. 2018. Ancient convergent losses of Paraoxonase 1 yield potential risks for modern marine mammals. Science. 361:591-594.

Champagne, C.D., N.M. Kellar, M.L. Trego, B. Delehanty, R. Boonstra, S.K. Wasser, R.K. Booth, D.E. Crocker, D.S. Houser. 2018. Comprehensive endocrine response to acute stress in the bottlenose dolphin from serum, blubber, and feces. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 266: 178-193.

McCormley, M.C., C.D. Champagne, J.S. Deyarmin, A.P. Stephan, D.E. Crocker, D.S. Houser, J. I. Khudyakov. 2018. Repeated adrenocorticotropic hormone administration alters adrenal and thyroid hormones in free-ranging elephant seals. Conservation Physiology. 6(1):coy040; doi:10.1093/conphys/coy040.

Crocker, D.E. 2018. Endocrinology. In: Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine. (ed. F.M.D. Gulland, L.A. Dierauf, K.L. Whitman). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. pp. 137-152.

Martinez, B.A., J.I. Khudyakov, K. Rutherford, D.E. Crocker, N. Gemmell and R.M. Ortiz. 2018. Adipose transcriptome analysis provides novel insights into molecular regulation of prolonged fasting in northern elephant seal pups. Physiological Genomics 50:495-503.

Fowler, M.A., C.D. Champagne, D.E. Crocker. 2018. Adiposity and fat metabolism during combined fasting and lactation in elephant seals. Journal of Experimental Biology. 221(S1): p.jeb161554.

Abrahms, B., E.L. Hazen, S.J. Bograd, J.S. Brashares , P.W. Robinson, K.L. Scales, D.E. Crocker, D.P. Costa. 2018. Climate mediates the success of individually-specialized migration strategies in a marine predator. Ecology Letters. 21:63-71.

Crocker, D.E., B.K. Wenzel, C.D. Champagne, D.S. Houser. 2017. Adult male northern elephant seals maintain high rates of glucose production during extended breeding fasts. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 187:1183-1192.

Course Offerings:

Animal Physiology, Environmental Physiology; Bioenergetics; Biometry; Animal Behavior.