Ph.D., Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, 2017. Thesis title: Beached bones: Exploring the Genetic Impact of Exploitation on Diversity of Great Whales in the South Atlantic.
M.Sc. in Fisheries Science. Oregon State University. 2011. Thesis title: A Whale’s Tale of Genetic Diversity and Differentiation: the Antarctic Blue Whale.
B.A. in Biology. Kalamazoo College, Michigan. 2007
My PhD research explored the impact of 20th century commercial whaling on the genetic diversity of great whale populations in the South Atlantic. I extracted DNA from whale bones collected from early whaling stations established in the Southern Hemisphere at the beginning of the 20th century. Using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequencing, I identified the whale bones to species and compared mtDNA diversity of the historical bone samples to contemporary samples of South Atlantic humpack, Southern Hemisphere fin and Antarctic blue whales. I shot-gun sequenced the DNA extracts of the historical Antarctic blue whale samples to assess the endogenous content of DNA in the historcial Antarctic blue whale bone extracts and assemble mtDNA genomes from the shot-gun sequencing reads. Using these data, I further explored the impact of exploitation on genetic diversity of the Antarctic blue whale through a comparison of historcial and contemporary Antarctic blue whale mtDNA genomes.
Currently, I am a National Research Council research associate with NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental laboratory (PMEL). My research will correlate the genetic identify and the acoustic identity of blue whales in the eastern North Pacific to increase our understanding of blue whale population structure. Population structure of blue whales within and between ocean basins has been described using genetic diversity and distinct acoustic call types, but how these two descriptions of diversity are correlated remains undescribed. Working with bioacoustician Dr. Bob Dziak at NOAA PMEL, we will correlate the descriptions of genetic diversity of blue whale populations to the distinct acoustic call types at the individual level in the eastern North Pacific.
Ecampus Instructor. FW302 Biology and Conservation of Marine Mammals and FW419/519 The Natural History of Whales and Whaling.. January 2018-March 2019.
Lab technician. Extraction and analysis of marine lipids. Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies (CIMRS), Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC). Oregon State University (OSU). October 2012–September 2014.
Research Assistant. Population genetics and molecular maker development of Euphausia spp. CIMRS. HMSC. OSU. May 2011–September 2012.
Research Assistant. Cetacean Conservation and Genetics Laboratory (CCGL). Marine Mammal Institute (MMI). OSU. January–April 2011. January 2018 - June 2019.
Field Research Assistant. Field surveys of gray whales in San Ignacio Lagoon. Universidad Autonomia de Baja California Sur, La Pax, MX. January–April 2008.
Research Assistant. Study of ingestion rates of Euphausia pacifica on varying concentrations of phytoplankton. CIMRS. HMSC. OSU. July–December 2007.