Le Nichoir biologist on oil ravaged coast
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.