Daniel E. Crocker

Professor, Department of Biology Chair

Dr. Daniel Crocker
Daniel E. Crocker


(707) 664-2995


Darwin 242

Office Hours

9:30 am-10:30 am In-person
10:00 am-11:00 am via Zoom

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, 1995

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. 

Course Offerings:
BIOL 324 - Marine Mammals
BIOL 332 - Marine Biology
BIOL 337 - Behavioral Ecology
BIOL 485 - Biometry

Recent Publications:
DeRango, E.J., J.F.L. Schwarz, F. Zenth, P. Piedrahita, D. Páez-Rosas, D.E. Crocker, O. Krüger. 2021. Developmental conditions promote individual differentiation of endocrine axes and behavior in a tropical pinniped. Oecologia. 195:25-35.

Arango, B.G., M. Harfush-Meléndez, J. A. Marmolejo-Valencia, H. Merchant-Larios, D.E. Crocker. 2021. Blood oxygen stores of olive ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys olivacea, are highly variable among individuals during arribada nesting. Journal of Comparative Physiology B.  191:185-194.

Kroeger, C.E., D.E. Crocker, R.A. Orben, D.R. Thompson, L.G. Torres, P.M. Sagar, L.A. Sztukowski, T. Andriese, D.P. Costa, and S.A. Shaffer. 2020. Similar foraging energetics of two sympatric albatrosses despite contrasting life histories and wind mediated foraging strategies. Journal of Experimental Biology. 223:23.

C. Debier, L. Pirard, M. Verhaegen, C. L. Rzucidlo, G. Tinant, C. Dewulf, Y. Larondelle, D. Smith, J. Rees, D.E. Crocker. 2020. In vitro lipolysis and leptin production of elephant seal blubber using precision-cut adipose tissue slices. Frontiers in Physiology. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.615784.

Pujade Busqueta, L., D.E Crocker, C.D. Champagne, M.C. McCormley, J.S. Deyarmin, D.S. Houser, J.I. Khudyakov. 2020. A blubber gene expression index for evaluating stress in marine mammals. Conservation Physiology. doi:10.1093/consphys/coaa082.

Delehanty, B., G.D. Bossart, C.D. Champagne, D.E. Crocker,  K.H. Elliott, D.S. Houser, A.E.M. Newman, P.A. Fair, R. Boonstra.  2020. Measurement of free glucocorticoids: Quantifying corticosteroid binding capacity and its variation within and among mammal and bird species. Conservation Physiology. doi: 10.1093/conphys/coaa057.

Hückstädt, L.A., A. Piñones, D.M. Palacios, B.I. McDonald, M.S. Dinniman, E.E. Hofmann, J.M. Burns, D.E. Crocker and D.P. Costa. 2020. Projected shifts in the foraging habitat of crabeater seals along the Antarctic Peninsula. Nature Climate Change. 10:472-477.

Strahan, M.G., D.S. Houser, J.J. Finneran, J. Mulsow, D.E. Crocker. 2020. Behaviorally measured tactile sensitivity in the common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus. Marine Mammal Science. 36:802-812.

Deyarmin, J.S., R. Hekman, C.D. Champagne, M.C. McCormley, A. Stephan, D.E. Crocker, D.S. Houser, J.I. Khudyakov. 2020.  Blubber proteome response to repeated ACTH administration in a wild marine mammal. Journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology D. 33:100644: 1-9.

Del Aguila-Vargasa, A.C., J.P. Vázquez-Medina, D.E. Crocker, L.C. Méndez-Rodriguez, R. Gaxiola-Robles, J.A. de Anda-Montañeza, L. Javier Ramirez-Jiranoe, O. Lugo-Lugoa, T. Zenteno-Savín. 2020. Antioxidant response to cadmium exposure in primary skeletal muscle cells isolated from humans and elephant seals. Journal of Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C. 227:108641:1-9.

Houser, D.S., S. Martin, D.E. Crocker, and J.J. Finneran. 2020. Endocrine response to simulated U.S. Navy mid-frequency sonar exposures in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.  147: 1681-1687.