Seth is a conservation scientist and geographer in the Marine Science & Conservation program, where his research interests broadly revolve around conservation planning, environmental decision-making, social-ecological systems, and international environmental governance. His doctoral work focuses on global efforts to establish a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Antarctica, which he has pursued by investigating questions about how social and ecological processes interact to shape conservation outcomes and the factors that influence the design and negotiation of MPAs. He does this by drawing on the fields of conservation science, geography, collaborative governance, and political science, and by using interdisciplinary methods such as participatory mapping, surveys, interviews, and expert elicitation.
Previously, Seth was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, worked for NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources, at the World Wildlife Fund, and at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He holds Masters’ of Public Policy and Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland, and undergraduate degrees in political science, geography, and French at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Seth is also a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, and he enjoys playing soccer, beach volleyball, diving, horseback riding, reading, and photography.
Seth T. Sykora-Bodie & Tiffany H. Morrison. (2019). “Drivers of Consensus-Based Decision-Making in International Environmental Regimes: Lessons from the Southern Ocean.” Aquatic Conservation. 8(2): 311-325.
Seth T. Sykora-Bodie, Vanessa Bezy, David W. Johnston, Everette Newton, Kenneth J. Lohmann.“Quantifying Nearshore Sea Turtle Densities: UAS Applications for Population Assessments.” Scientific Reports. December 2017.
Courtney E. Smith, Seth T. Sykora-Bodie, Brian Bloodworth, Shalynn M. Pack, Trevor Spradlin, Nicole LeBoeuf. “Assessment of known impacts of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) on marine mammals: data gaps and recommendations.” 2016. Special Wildlife Issue of the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems.
I am a PhD candidate in Ecology at the Duke University Marine Lab. I am interested in applying and testing ecological theory in natural animal communities, and using these insights to inform conservation problems and interactions between humans and wildlife. My current focus is on the behavioral and community ecology of marine predators that interact with commercial fishing operations. My dissertation examines an interaction between longline fisheries and several toothed whale species that remove catch directly from fishing gear, a phenomenon known as depredation. I am addressing this problem using several complementary approaches including animal movement/foraging ecology, spatial analysis, bioenergetics, and a social-economic approach to explore impacts on the fishing industry and possible policy implications.
Before beginning my studies at Duke I completed B.A. degrees in Biology and Psychology at St. Louis University and an M.Sc. degree at Illinois State University where I studied the behavioral ecology of invasive, container-dwelling mosquitos. I have also worked as a field biologist in the southwestern US and as a commercial fisheries observer for the National Marine Fisheries Service on longline vessels in Hawaii and trawl vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.
I am pursuing a PhD in the University Program in Ecology. I am broadly interested in the foraging ecology of marine mammals, particularly any novel foraging behaviors, and how we can measure their foraging success and effort. My dissertation work examines the fine-scale kinematics of foraging in three cetacean species – humpback whales, pilot whales, and bottlenose dolphins. I use short-term digital acoustic tags (DTAGs) to get high resolution data, answering questions about how animals are successful with different foraging strategies.
Before coming to Duke I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Georgetown College (KY) and a Masters of Research in Marine Mammal Science from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). My masters research focused on the foraging ecology of short-finned pilot whales using acoustic and movement recording tags (DTAGs). We used fine-scale metrics to characterize foraging behavior in a population of pilot whales that performs unique sprinting dives. After completing my Masters I worked as a research assistant for the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews, where I used DTAGs to study echolocation behavior in a variety of species of cetaceans, from harbor porpoises to beaked whales. As part of these projects I analyzed and interpreted echograms, visual representations of echolocation clicks and the echoes returning from prey items, to determine the animal’s foraging success and make inferences about prey behavior.
Quick, N., W. Cioffi, J. Shearer, and A. Read. 2019. Mind the gap – optimizing satellite tag settings for time series analysis of foraging dives in Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris). Animal Biotelemetry 7(5). doi:10.1186/s40317-019-0167-5.
Shearer, J., N. Quick, W. Cioffi, R. Baird, D. Webster, H. Foley, Z. Swaim, D. Waples, J. Bell, and A. Read. 2019. Diving behaviour of Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Royal Society Open Science 6: 181728. doi:10.1098/rsos.181728.
Wisniewska, D.M., M. Johnson, J. Teilmann, L. R. Doñate, J. Shearer, S. Sveegaard, L. A. Miller, U. Siebert and P. T. Madsen. 2017. Response to “Resilience of harbor porpoises to anthropogenic disturbance: Must they really feed continuously?”. Marine Mammal Science 34(1):265-270. doi: 10.1111/mms.12463.
Wisniewska, D.M., M. Johnson, J. Teilmann, L. R. Doñate, J. Shearer, S. Sveegaard, L. A. Miller, U. Siebert and P. T. Madsen. 2016. Ultra-high foraging rates of harbour porpoises make them vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance. Current Biology 26:1441-1446.
My research interests focus on improving our understanding of how anthropogenic and natural disturbances impact marine mammals. My work combines measurements of metabolic rate (via respirometry) and activity levels (via suction-cup attached bio-logging devices), during experimental swim trials with trained cetaceans in accredited zoological facilities. This study aims to develop tag-based estimates of energy expenditure, in order to assess disturbance impacts in wild populations, as well as further our understanding of marine mammal physiology and locomotion costs.
I am also studying the impact of boat approaches on bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, as part of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. Our work utilizes a long-term database of short-term attachment, fine-scale bio-logging deployments. My efforts aim to understand whether repeated boat approaches are significantly increasing energetic costs. The ultimate goal of this work is to help parameterize Population Consequence of Disturbance (PCoD) models which quantify cumulative, sublethal impacts, in order to understand changes in population vital rates.
Before beginning my PhD in Marine Science and Conservation, I obtained a BBA from the College of William and Mary, where I researched the impact of bycatch reduction devices on the recreational blue crab fishery, with the goal of reducing diamondback terrapin bycatch. I received a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. During my Masters I explored the overlap of prey species among short-finned pilot whales and several tuna species, as part of a study examining marine mammal bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries. I also conducted microplastic ingestion experiments with a local coral species; results suggest that taste may be an understudied driver of plastic ingestion in a number of phyla.
Fahlman, A., McHugh, K., Allen, J., Barleycorn, A., Allen, A., Sweeney, J., Stone, R., Faulkner Trainor, R., Bedford, G., Moore, M.J. and Jensen, F.H., 2018. Resting metabolic rate and lung function in wild offshore common bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, near Bermuda. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, p.886.
Allen, A.S., Seymour, A.C. and Rittschof, D., 2017. Chemoreception drives plastic consumption in a hard coral. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 124(1), pp.198-205.
I am a PhD Student in Marine Science and Conservation at the Duke University Marine Lab, as well as the Associate Director of the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project. My dissertation focuses on understanding the historical ecology, population dynamics, and socioecology of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that utilize the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. I consider an interdisciplinary approach necessary to conserving wildlife. I therefore employ both natural and social science methods, as well as actively engage with the public to raise awareness about dolphins in our “Nation’s River.”
Prior to starting my PhD at Duke, I received a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Georgetown University in 2013. Between my undergraduate and graduate studies, I worked as the research associate for the Shark Bay Dolphin Project and the media specialist for National Geographic Society’s Crittercam. To read more about my work, please visit my website at annmariejacoby.com.
I am a third year PhD student in Marine Science and Conservation. I am interested in the sensory structures of navigation in long-distance marine migrants. For my dissertation, I am examining navigational techniques of cetaceans from several different perspectives, including satellite tag analysis, behavioral studies, and an anatomical investigation for a magnetoreceptor.
Before coming to Duke, I completed a B.S. in Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). During my undergraduate career, I was the Undergraduate Stranding Coordinator for the UNCW Marine Mammal Stranding Program and a NOAA Hollings Scholar. I also completed a MSc in Marine Mammal Science from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). My masters research focused on the fine-scale foraging techniques of the harbor porpoises using digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs).
I am broadly interested in population and community responses to change, both natural (e.g., ice extent) and anthropogenic (e.g., noise pollution). I am particularly interested in the recovery of marine mammals in the Arctic ecosystem following historical whaling as well as shifts in community structure with changing climatic conditions. I am also keenly interested in data poor species of high conservation concern. For my dissertation, I will be using various methods, including stable isotope analysis, bioacoustics, and joint-species distribution modeling, to address gaps in the basic life history of the critically endangered eastern population of North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica).
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 variability in the diet of humpback whales around the Kodiak Archipelago of Alaska using stable isotope values of humpback whale skin. Following which, I worked for the NOAA Marine Mammal Lab in Seattle, WA and the University of Washington Joint Institute, JISAO, researching temporal patterns in marine mammal acoustic presence in the Bering Sea and eastern Aleutian Islands using passive acoustic data.
Conservation biology, community ecology, spatial ecology, bioacoustics, biogeochemistry, Bayesian statistics, physiology, evolution, population dynamics
- Wright, D.L., C. Berchok, J. Crance, and P.J. Clapham. “Acoustic detection of the critically endangered North Pacific right whale in the northern Bering Sea.” Marine Mammal Science 35, no. 1 (January 2019): 311–26. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12521.
- Wright, D.L., M. Castellote, C. Berchok, D. Ponirakis, J. Crance, and P.J. Clapham. Acoustic detection of North Pacific right whales in a high-traffic Aleutian Pass, 2009-2015. Endangered Species Research 37, no. 1 (September 2018): 77-90. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00915.
- Crance, J., C. Berchok, D. Wright, A. Brewer, and D. Woodrich. “Song production by the eastern North Pacific right whale, Eubalaena japonica.” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 144, no. 3 (September 2018): 1979–1979. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5068641.
- Thode, A., J. Bonnel, M. Thieury, A. Fagan, C.M. Verlinden, D. Wright, J. Crance, and C. Berchok. “Using nonlinear time warping to estimate North Pacific right whale calling depths and propagation environment in the Bering Sea.” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 142, no. 4 (October 2017): 2711–12. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5014894.
- Wright, D.L., B. Witteveen, K. Wynne, and L. Horstmann-Dehn. “Fine-scale spatial differences in humpback whale diet composition near Kodiak, Alaska.” Marine Mammal Science 32, no. 3 (July 2016): 1099–1114. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12311.
- Wright, D.L., B. Witteveen, K. Wynne, and L. Horstmann‐Dehn. “Evidence of two subaggregations of humpback whales on the Kodiak, Alaska, feeding ground revealed from stable isotope analysis.” Marine Mammal Science 31, no. 4 (October 2015): 1378–1400. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12227.
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dana_Wright
I am currently pursuing a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation, as well as a Certificate in College Teaching. My research interests broadly center around conservation biology and conservation policy, primarily through the lens of protected species bycatch. I am particularly interested in conducting bycatch assessments in international commercial fisheries, especially those managed by regional fisheries management organizations, and modeling bycatch rates in data-poor scenarios. I am equally as interested in the policy and management angle to these human-wildlife conflicts, and enjoy exploring efficacy of regulations and working with managers to strengthen policy and management surrounding protected species.
My strong interests in bycatch, policy, and management are influenced from my prior work experience, including as a former NOAA Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, an MMPA analyst as a contractor at the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Protected Resources, and as a science communicator at Oceana. I hold a Master of Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University (where I was also advised by Dr. Read) and a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I enjoy running, rock climbing, kayaking, and hanging out with my dog, Brisbane, in my spare time.
I am a first-year PhD student in Marine Science & Conservation. I am broadly interested in marine mammal social behavior, ecology, and conservation. In particular, I am interested in the development and transmission of novel behaviors, group decision-making, and other social processes that could impact animals’ resilience to conservation threats.
I am a Master of Environmental Management candidate pursuing the Coastal Environmental Management (CEM) Concentration. I am interested in protected marine species conservation and policy, specifically focusing on marine mammals and coral reefs. I graduated from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Studies in 2018. Before coming to Duke, I worked as a Marine Mammal and Aquatic Research Professional Intern at the Seas at Walt Disney World in Florida where I assisted with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin cognitive and acoustic research and guest education. On the Aquatic Research team, I completed a personal research project on coral habitat suitability, determining what light conditions corals thrive best under human care.
I am excited to continue developing my knowledge and understanding of protected species conservation through studying marine mammal stock assessments with Dr. Andy Read, Brianna Elliott and Taylor Stoni in addition to researching permits for NOAA’s Mission: Iconic Reef project as a summer intern. At Duke, I work at the Nicholas Institute for Policy Solutions as the student lead for planning the Blue Economy Summit and am also a teaching assistant for the undergraduate Dynamic Oceans class. In my free time you can typically find me running on the beach, SCUBA diving, or watching football.
I am a Master of Coastal Environmental Management candidate interested in protected species conservation and policy. I am particularly interested in the management of marine mammals and sea turtles at the intersection of science and policy. After graduating from Duke, I hope to work on reducing and mitigating the impacts of bycatch on protected species. I graduated from Florida Institute of Technology in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. Before attending Duke, I worked as a Research, Restoration, and Education Intern for the county of Vero Beach, Florida, where I conducted sea turtle nesting surveys and engaged the public in sea turtle conservation initiatives. Additionally, I completed an independent study researching the relationship between coral growth and upwelling zones in the Gulf of Panama in efforts to determine potential coral refuges in response to climate change. At Duke, I have worked as the Publication Coordinator for Ocean Policy Working Group and as a student consultant for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic.
I look forward to continuing my education in protected species management by working with the Read Lab and Maine Department of Marine Resources as a summer intern. In the Read lab I am studying marine mammal stock assessment reports with Dr. Read, Brianna Elliot, and Kimberly Corcoran. As a marine resource specialist for Maine DMR, I am working to reduce entanglements of North Atlantic Right Whales in Maine’s lobster fishery. In my second year at Duke, I am excited to continue my work with both the Read lab and Maine DMR, as well as start new positions as a science and policy editor for the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum and as a fisheries policy consultant for Ocean Conservancy. In my free time I enjoy hiking, scuba diving, and watching Friends.
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently a REU student working in Dr. Andrew Read’s lab studying implantable tags on short finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) at the Duke University Marine Lab. My research focuses on determining what factors yield the best data and to determine the long-term effects of implantable tags on short finned pilot whales near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. I will evaluate characteristics of tag attachment including shot distance, tag orientation and placement as well as use a scoring criteria to describe physical conditions.
I am a rising senior majoring in Marine Sciences at Savannah State University (SSU). I was a previous LMRCSC NOAA scholar and finished funding through the program. I conducted a research project on analyzing microplastic abundance in Spot Leiostumus xanthurus and Atlantic Stingray Hypanus sabina during the Summer Bridge to Research REU program at SSU in the summer of 2019. I plan to continue this research for my Senior Research Project, comparing microplastics levels amongst different foraging ecology like filter feeders, benthic deposit feeders and predatory feeders. After earning my bachelor’s degree in Marine Sciences, I plan to pursue both master’s and doctoral degree where I intend to study coral reef community ecology or marine conservation.
Research Interest: Conservation Biology, Community Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Toxicology, Spatial Biology, and Ichthyology