Le Ni­choir bio­lo­gist on oil ra­va­ged coast

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

A lo­cal wild­life bio­lo­gist will ar­rive in Loui­sia­na to­day at the re­quest of U.S. wild­life ex­perts.

Lynn Miller, co-foun­der of Le Ni­choir Wild Bird Re­ha­bi­li­ta­tion Centre in Hud­son, boar­ded a plane for Loui­sia­na this mor­ning and ex­pects to be brie­fed la­ter to­day on how her ex­per­tise with birds and wild­life can help in one of the worst oil spills in U.S. his­to­ry.

Miller, who is in the fi­nal stages of com­ple­ting her Ph.D. in en­vi­ron­men­tal toxi­co­lo­gy (her the­sis stu­dy do­cu­men­ted the ef­fects of oil on birds), will join a team of ex­perts at the re­quest of the U.S. Hu­mane So­cie­ty.

“I real­ly don’t know where I will be sent or what I’ll be doing,” Miller no­ted Mon­day mor­ning, ad­ding she did not even know where she’d stay.

“I have been on stand­by to go when (the U.S. Hu­mane So­cie­ty) nee­ded me, and they say they need me now.”

Once there, she ex­pects the work to be “gruel­ling” and the days long.

Ne­ver­the­less, Miller and other wild­life ex­perts say the de­ci­sion to use on­ly ex­pe­rien­ced staff to aid oi­led birds, ani­mals and ma­rine life “is in­cre­di­bly va­li­da­ting.”

“It means our ex­per­tise is re­co­gni­zed and that more ani­mals can be sa­ved as a re­sult.”

Miller’s Ph. D. re­search lin­ked oil exposure to per­ma­nent changes in the brain.

“I have found that oil crosses the blood­brain bar­rier ve­ry ef­fec­ti­ve­ly and dis­rupts ma­ny of the neu­ro­trans­mit­ters wi­thin the brain,” she said.

Her fin­dings can be lin­ked to hu­mans as well.

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