Assessing the impact of pollution on the worlds mangrove forests
I am a Fulbright Scholar to Norway and am working with the Blue Carbon Programme at GRID-Arendal. In the US, I am an Associate Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau where I conduct research on marine mammals and teach courses in marine biology. I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa; earned my BS in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, and Biology, from Duke University; and earned my PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.
My research focuses on the behavior, ecology, and conservation of marine mammals. Projects include sea otter foraging and mating strategies, dusky dolphin social behavior, social convergence between dolphins and great apes, humpback whale foraging ecology, effects of whale watching on humpback whales, and development of a video camera tag for dolphins.
Most recently, I am studying how marine mammals provide blue carbon ecosystem services that can help to mitigate climate change. The feeding behavior of sea otters and whales stimulates the growth of phytoplankton and kelp, respectively, which in turn helps to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Working with GRID-Arendal, I aim to translate this scientific information into accessible forms for communication with the public and policymakers.
In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, hiking, snorkeling in tropical locations, and spending time with my husband and two black labs. While in Norway, I look forward to exploring the natural environment and learning about my family heritage as my grandmother was born and raised on the island of Senja.