Ph.D., Wildlife Science, Oregon State University, 2022
M.S. Wildlife Science, Oregon State University, 2018
B.S. Organismal Biology, Pitzer College, 2016
B.A. Environmental Policy, Pitzer College, 2016
My research interests are in the ecology and conservation of marine mammals. In particular, I study what drives when and where these animals can be found and how their distribution overlaps with human activities, using tools such as distribution modeling and spatial statistics, bioacoustics, and oceanography.
I have been with the Marine Mammal Institute since 2016 and obtained my M.S. and Ph.D. here at Oregon State University, both advised by Dr. Leigh Torres. My masters research investigated the distribution, residency patterns, population connectivity, and abundance of blue whales in Aotearoa New Zealand. Working together with an international team of scientists, we documented a unique population of ~700 blue whales that are genetically distinct and present in the South Taranaki Bight region year-round. Subsequently, my doctoral research focused on the ecology of this New Zealand blue whale population, bringing together multiple data streams to understand their habitat use patterns and inform conservation management efforts through the OBSIDIAN project. Through my PhD, I harnessed a variety of analytical tools to build an increased understanding of environmental forcing on prey availability and blue whale distribution patterns, paving the way for dynamic management, and yielding new insights into habitat use and life history patterns of a population.
As a postdoctoral scholar, I have been investigating harbor porpoise and gray whale distribution patterns in the Northern California Current over three decades through the EMERALD project. I am thrilled to return to Aotearoa New Zealand as a co-Principal Investigator on the SAPPHIRE project, which will examine the resilience of blue whales and krill to climate change. Additionally, I am contributing to the analysis of the Marine Mammal Institute-wide MOSAIC project, examining the distribution of cetaceans and seabirds in Oregon and California waters in light of potential wind energy development. I relish any opportunity to spend time at sea here in our Oregon backyard, and contribute to data collection for the GEMM Lab's ongoing HALO and OPAL projects.