A zookeeper in Blackpool has been awarded a masters degree for her research into sea lion whiskers.
Alyx Milne, 27, combined her work at Blackpool Zoo as an animal trainer/presenter, with her studies at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Her dissertation on the motor neuron abilities of sea lions' whiskers earned her a distinction from the university.
Ms Milne said sea lions' whiskers were very sensitive and could help them to find fish.
She said their whiskers picked up vibrations in the water and air, leading them to food.
Ms Milne said: "Working with the sea lions at Blackpool Zoo has been a major part of my research and I'm so pleased I have something so great to show for it."
She is now aiming for a PhD relating to marine mammals.