my research

eavesdropping on marine mammals off the central Oregon coast

marine bioacoustics // spatial ecology // biological oceanography

This is what 6 am on the Pacific Ocean looks like. This sunrise marked the beginning of the HALO Project — the Holistic Assessment of Living marine resources off Oregon.

Central Oregon waters are well-defined oceanographically, with data collecting efforts ongoing ever since 1961. Researchers on boat surveys have observed an abundance of marine mammals in the area, but no comprehensive, long-term studies have been dedicated to understanding how marine mammals use these waters.

The HALO team is aspiring to change that. Through the HALO project, I am contributing to the year-round collection of long-term acoustic and visual datasets documenting biodiversity, from krill to seabirds to marine mammals. In the process of building this wealth of data, I am determined to understand how global climate change is influencing oceanographic conditions in the northern California current. In turn, I hope to identify which marine mammals rely upon Oregon waters and model how they rely upon this critical habitat. I will accomplish this through bioacoustics — parsing through big acoustics data to find marine mammal calls and songs, a retroactive discovery of which whales were once there and when.