Dana Wright

I am a Marine Science and Conservation PhD student at the Duke University Marine Lab. I am broadly interested in marine mammals in the Arctic ecosystem and how their distributions and community structure may be shifting with changing climatic conditions. I am particularly interested in data poor species of high conservation concern. For my dissertation, I will be using complementary approaches, including stable isotope analysis, bio-acoustics, and leveraging fisheries datasets in a multivariate community model framework, to address gaps in the basic life history of the Critically Endangered eastern population of North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica ). For example, migratory routes, migratory frequency, and locations of calving grounds are currently unknown for this population. In addition to publications in peer-reviewed journal articles, a product of this work will include a report written to NOAA that outlines recommendations for future monitoring of this species, including locations of additional passive acoustic monitoring stations.
    Prior to beginning my graduate studies at Duke, I completed a B.S. in Marine and Aquatic Sciences from the University of Maine, Orono, followed by a M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. During my M.S. I studied fine-scale spatial variability in humpback whale diet around the Kodiak Archipelago of Alaska using bulk stable isotope values from humpback whale skin biopsies. Following which, I had a joint affiliation with the NOAA Marine Mammal Lab in Seattle, WA, and the University of Washington JISAO program, where I explored spatial and temporal patterns in marine mammal presence in the Bering Sea and eastern Aleutian Islands using passive acoustic data.

Current Research Interests

Marine mammal conservation, the Arctic ecosystem, community ecology, bioacoustics, biogeochemistry, Bayesian statistics, physiology, state-space models

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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