Hi, I’m Jessie! I am currently a PhD candidate and NOAA Dr. Nancy Foster scholar at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington advised by Dr. Kristin Laidre. My dissertation research examines sea otter population dynamics and longitudinal and spatial patterns of sea otter foraging on the outer coast of Washington in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. I am using sea otter survey data collected over several decades by the U.S. Geological survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to create a Bayesian state-space population model for Washington state sea otters. I am also in the field several months a year collecting observational data on sea otter foraging on the outer coast of Washington to compare sea otter diets over time, and I collaborate with researchers at the Seattle Aquarium to study how sea otter diets vary over space.
As a NOAA Nancy Foster Scholar, I am also studying Hawaiian monk seal foraging using animal-borne camera data through a Program Collaboration with the NOAA Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. My past research was on pinto abalone tagging methods and the effects of invasive bullfrogs and novel habitats on invertebrate communities in Arizona. I am passionate about marine ecology and studying species with conservation need where my research has direct management applications.