B.S. Marine Zoology, Newcastle University, 2018
I am interested in the ecology of marine mammals, focusing on interspecific interactions as well as the influences that climate change and anthropogenic disturbances are having on them, particularly in terms of their foraging ecology. Ever-increasing human activity in the oceans and the continued impact of climate change will likely influence the availability and distribution of many prey species, thus potentially affecting the abundance and status of top trophic level predators in marine ecosystems, especially marine mammals. However, before such inferences can be made, baseline data of predator-prey interactions must be collected to be able to monitor changing trends in the foraging behaviour.
For my Master’s work, I will be examining the fine-scale spatial foraging ecology of the Pacific Coast Feeding Group (PCFG) gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) subpopulation in Port Orford, Oregon. The PCFG whales are a subset of the much larger Eastern North Pacific gray whale population that, instead of migrating the full distance from the lagoons of Baja, Mexico to Alaska and the Arctic to feed in the summer, remain along the coastlines of northern California, Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia. By surveying the whales and their zooplankton prey concurrently, from a cliff site and a kayak respectively, I aim to make connections between variability of prey in both time and space, and the effect this has on the gray whales. Through this, I hope to gain a greater insight into the foraging behaviours exhibited, and ultimately life-history decisions made, by PCFG individuals.
Proceedings and Conference Presentations:
"Using technology to research marine giants on a budget" at the Marine Technology Summit, Newport, OR (September 2018); "Port Orford Gray Whale Foraging Ecology" at the Port Orford Community Presentation, Port Orford, OR (August 2018)
Instructor: FW 303 Survey of Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources, Oregon State University. 2018-present.
Research Assistant: Tagless Delphinid Behavioural Response Study, Santa Catalina Island, California. 2017-2018.
Special Project Intern: Cascadia Research Collective, Olympia, Washington. 2017.
Undergraduate Researcher: Marine Science Center, Rostock, Germany. 2015-2016.
Intern: Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute, Sardinia, Italy and O Grove, Spain. 2014-2015.