RESEARCH INTEREST:My research aims to integrate individualized behavioural, physiological, and spatial models to explore how marine mammal species and populations respond to stressors and change (environmental or anthropogenic).
Growing up in the Midwest, I didn’t actually see the ocean until I was 20 years old, but since then I’ve moved coast to coast exploring questions aimed at effectively balancing human health, culture, and industry with marine conservation. Along the way I earned my Masters of Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University, and then received myPh.D. in behavioural ecology from Durham University, England where I focused on grey seal breeding ecology. While living somewhere with mandatory tea breaks, and driving on the left side of the road was fun, I returned to the US and accepted a postdoctoral position at the University of Alaska, Anchorage where I managed a seal biosampling project aimed at uniting Alaska Native subsistence hunters and scientists in efforts to monitor the health and ecology of seals.
Now, I have joined the Alaska SeaLife Center as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Markus Horning’s lab. This is actually a return to the ASLC for me. In the summers of 2009-2011, I started as an intern and then seasonal technician on the ASLC’s long-term harbor seal population monitoring project. I’m very excited to be back in Seward and to be working as part of the Steller sea lion survival and reproduction team! My project specifically aims to develop a habitat use model for juvenile sea lions that incorporates predation risk as a factor driving space-use and movement.