Students in my lab are based at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) and work on a variety of projects related to the ecology of high latitude marine mammals. Projects tend to be focused on factors that shape population and community dynamics in the Arctic, where climatic and ecological responses to global change are expected to be most pronounced.

Graduate Students

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Donna D. W. Hauser

Donna’s dissertation research considers the effects and constraints of the highly seasonal and increasingly variable Arctic environment on the distribution, movements, and behavior of beluga whales in Alaska and Canada using habtiat modeling with satellite telemetry location and dive data. Her goal is to understand how migratory Arctic whales will respond and adapt to changes in the Arctic.  Her research is supported by the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the US National Science Foundation (IGERT), and is conducted in collaboration with North Slope Borough and Fisheries & Oceans Canada


Erica Escajeda

Erica is a Masters student studying terrestrial habitat use by polar bears in Baffin Bay using satellite telemetry data and geo-spatial information systems (GIS). She received her undergraduate degree in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent two summer seasons working as a bird research technician in Alaska. Erica is supported by a SAFS graduate research fellowship. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, playing with her chickens, and exploring the great outdoors

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Jessie Hale

Jessie graduated with her B.S. from SAFS in June 2013 and will began her Masters at SAFS in 2014. Jessie was supported by an APL-Boeing scholarship for Women in Science as an intern at the Applied Physics Lab. She examined longitudinal patterns of sea otter foraging on the outer coast of Washington.  Jessie’s past research has focused on pinto abalone restoration and invasive bullfrogs in Arizona. She is broadly interested in marine conservation and ecology and her personal blog can be found here:

Undergraduate and post-bac students


Breanna Walker

Breanna started studying Southern Resident Killer Whale acoustics as a student in the UW Beam Reach Program in the spring of 2012 and ultimately transferred to the undergraduate program in SAFS in Winter 2013. She received a Mary Gates Research Scholarship for undergraduates to continue her research. Breanna is interested in the interaction between Southern Resident Killer Whale echolocation, boat activity, and underwater noise at Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island, WA.  She has also worked on analysis of Passive Acoustic Monitoring data from West Greenland.

Previous Students

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Kalyn MacIntyre

Kalyn obtained her M.S. degree from SAFS in June 2014. Kalyn’s research interests are centered on using underwater vocalizations to examine marine mammal distribution and behavior. Her Masters project uses passive acoustics to examine the distribution of the bearded seals in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas relative to sea ice conditions.  Her research was supported by the North Pacific Research Board Graduate Research Fellowship and the NOAA National Marine Mammal Laboratory.