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Lauren Wild, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Fisheries Technology 
Career Education: Fisheries Technology


 101B, Sitka Campus



B.A. in International and Global Studies, Brandeis University

M.S. in Marine Mammal Science, University of St. Andrews


Humpback whale long-term monitoring in Sitka Sound, 2007-present

  • Photo-identification, tissue sampling (diet & genetics), acoustics (social, feeding, and song calls)

Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project, 2009-present

  • Managing acoustics lab: signal processing sperm whale acoustics
  • Testing acoustic and passive deterrents to reduce sperm whale interactions with fishing gear
  • Diet studies: stable isotope techniques
  • Tagging studies: satellite tag movements and habitat use of sperm whales


Wild, L.A., Chenoweth, E.M, Straley, J.M., Mueter, F. (2018). “Evidence of dietary time series in cetacean skin using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios.” Rapid Comm. Mass Spec. 32, 1425-1428.

Wild, L.A., Thode, A.M., Straley, J.M., Rhoads, S., Falvey, D., and Liddle, J. (2017). “Field trials of an acoustic decoy to attract sperm whales away from commercial longline fishing vessels in western Gulf of Alaska.” Fish. Res. 196 141-150. 

Thode, A., Wild, L.A., Straley, J.M., et al. (2016). “Using line acceleration to measure false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) click and whistle source levesl during pelagic longline depredation.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, 3941.

Thode, A.M., Straley, J.M., O’Connell, V., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Mathias. D.K., Wild, L.A., Calambokidis, J., Schorr, G.S., Andrews, R.D., Liddle, J.B., Lunsford, C. (2015). “Cues, creaks, and decoys: using passive acoustic monitoring as a tool for studying sperm whale depredation.” ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5) 1621-1637.

O’Connell, V., Straley, J.M., Liddle, J.B., Wild, L.A., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Thode, A.M. (2015). “Testing a passive deterrent on longlines to reduce sperm whale depredation in the Gulf of Alaska.” ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5) 1667-1672.

Straley, J.M., Thode, A.M., O’Connell, V., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Liddle, J.B., Wild, L.A.(2015). “Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP): A successful collaboration among scientists and industry to study depredation in Alaskan waters.” ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5): 1598-1609.

Wild, L.A., Gabriele, C.M. (2014). “Putative contact calls made by humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) in southeastern Alaska.” Can. Bioacoust. 42, 23-31.  

Thode, A., Wild, L.A., Mathias, D.K., Straley, J.M., and Lunsford, C. (2014). “A comparison of acoustic and visual metrics of sperm whale longline depredation.” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 135(5), 3086-3100.


SMM (Society for Marine Mammalogy)

Alaska Student Chapter (Sitka Representative) of SMM

AFS (American Fisheries Society) Alaska Chapter

AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

Courses Taught:

Biology 193 - Introduction to Stable Isotope Techniques in Research

Biology 294 - Stable Isotope Analysis in Ecological Research Practicum


Lauren was born and raised in Sitka, in Southeast Alaska. She spent most of her childhood on the water and in the mountains, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and exploring the outdoors. After graduating from Sitka High School she attended Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she graduated with a B.A. in International and Global Studies, and a minor in Mathematics. During a study abroad semester in Madagascar, Lauren became interested in marine science and whale research, so she began volunteering for Jan Straley, a professor of Biology and whale researcher at the UAS Sitka Campus. In 2009 she returned to Southeast Alaska and was hired by Professor Straley as a research technician on the Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP), a collaborative project of fishermen, scientists, and fisheries managers working to better understand sperm whale interactions with commercial longline fishing vessels. Throughout her tenure with SEASWAP, Lauren worked as an acoustic technician and obtained a master’s degree in Marine Mammal Science at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, where she studied with some of the top sperm whale acousticians in the world. SEASWAP also introduced her to the world of fisheries in Alaska, and she became fascinated with the cultural and career importance of this field. She went back to school and received her Ph.D. in Fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries & Ocean Sciences, graduating in May 2020. Lauren grew up around the fishing industry in Sitka, with many family and friends earning their living on the water. In her free time, Lauren can be found hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting with family, friends, her husband Evan, and her dog Nysa.


Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm or by appointment.


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