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Images: Scientific (and Surfing) Safari

Eric Montie perfects his bottom-turns and cutbacks offshore Rhode Island in September. He said surfing provides balance during intense months in the lab, where he develops methods to better understand if toxic chemicals found in the marine environment can change how the brain develops in dolphins.

Joint Program students Joy Lapseritis, Eric Montie (center), and former student Thomas Abbott remove the thyroid gland from a stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphin. Scientists have learned that chemicals can interfere with neurological function and the thyroid hormone system, with potential harm ranging from cognitive defects to hearing loss.

Eric Montie prepares to scan a female dolphin's brain in a magnetic resonance imaging machine at Shields MRI of Cape Cod in Yarmouth. The young, Atlantic white-sided dolphin had stranded in Barnstable in late September and was euthanized because of poor health. The brain, Montie found, did not contain lesions.