Research Scientists


I am generally interested in understanding changes in fish
population dynamics and life-history characteristics in response to altered ecological conditions, disease spread, and harvesting, and how this knowledge can be used to improve species conservation and management. To answer my research questions, I mainly use statistical analyses of existing empirical data, mathematical models, and numerical simulation approaches. My work on Pacific salmon focuses on how changes in population productivity and demography (e.g. size and age at maturation) are related to ecological changes in marine and freshwater habitats, including climate, competition, and predator-prey interactions. I am also interested in the potential consequences of reduced reproductive potential due to declines in average size at return for salmon management.



Lukas is a PhD candidate in the Schindler lab. I am broadly interested in the population dynamics and life histories of aquatic organisms, with applications towards conservation and fisheries management. My PhD research focuses on understanding the basis of life history variation in Alaskan sockeye salmon populations. I am also working on designing statistical approaches for real-time analysis of genetic data in support of mixed stock fisheries management, and developing spatiotemporal stock assessment and forecast models for Washington state coho salmon populations. I like painting, fishing, SCUBA diving and pigs.


Davey is an MS student in the Schindler lab. My research explores biogeochemical linkages between terrestrial and aquatic systems. I am specifically interested in how the spatial arrangement of landscape features such as plant communities, soils, or geologic units shape streamwater constituents (eg. carbon,nitrogen) that govern the base of aquatic food webs. I use a combination of geospatial and biogeochemical tools to understand how these processes play out across boreal river networks. I completed undergrad at UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and worked as a marine geochemistry technician and geospatial analyst before joining the Schindler lab. I like tacos, long hikes, road bikes, and non-hazy IPAs.


Sarah is a PhD Candidate in the Human Centered Design and Engineering Department. Her PhD work has been largely focused on the State of Alaska’s Salmon and People project where she has explored how scientists involve local citizens in research, how long-term monitoring impacts ecological science, and how the issues of scale challenge the design of data infrastructure. She also holds a Master of Arts from Georgetown University where she explored the way local citizens in Sublette County, Wyoming use mobile sensors to detect air quality in relation to fracking sites.


Sam is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Ecology Research Lab (MerLab) supervised by Dr. Kerry Naish. Sam is broadly interested in how behavior, life history diversity, and evolution can influence population recruitment and growth in wild populations. His research utilizes molecular genetic techniques to study eco-evolutionary processes and population dynamics in Sockeye Salmon. His research is informed by 15+ years of longitudinal data and samples from the A&C Creek study system on Little Togiak Lake, Bristol Bay, AK. Using DNA sequences from Sockeye tissue samples, Sam has recreated a four-generation pedigree which he uses to examine fine-scale spatiotemporal processes such as population structure, reproductive behavior, inbreeding, and gene flow. Using quantitative genetic techniques, Sam is demonstrating how these fine-scale processes affect fitness, productivity, and long-term viability in wild populations. Sam completed a dual B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami and is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


Katie received her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014. She continued her education at UCSC and received her Master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2016. During her Master’s, she studied juvenile Chinook salmon habitat use on the San Joaquin River. After falling in love with Alaska during a summer working as an aquarist intern at the Alaska SeaLife Center, she decided to join the Alaska Salmon Program at UW. She is advised by Ray Hilborn and Tom Quinn and has spent 5 summers at the field camp at Aleknagik Lake. She is broadly interested in the interfaces of ecology and evolution and fisheries management and conservation. Her work explores how two predators on sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, grizzly bears and commercial fishers, make decisions on where to fish.


Sarah is a PhD candidate in the Schindler lab. y graduate research takes an interdisciplinary approach to characterizing baseline aquatic ecological conditions, exploring potential methods of measuring human impacts to baseline,and understanding the effectiveness of impact prediction and measurement.  I have conducted investigations during and prior to graduate school on and around the currently proposed Pebble Mine site in Bristol Bay, Alaska for over a decade.  Prior to my work in Alaska, I participated in Pacific salmon research throughout the Pacific Rim, and anadromous brown trout research in Argentine Patagonia.  I also have experience in aquatic botany, limnology, and water quality.  I received my B.S. from the University of Washington in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, and my M.S. from the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station in Freshwater Ecology.


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Ashley grew up in Philadelphia, PA and graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in International Studies/Literature and Japanese. She obtained her master’s in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute. She has traveled to over 50 countries on six continents, studying and working in the realm of ecological restoration, international affairs, and natural resource management at various international organizations, NGOs, and institutions. Ashley is pursuing a PhD and is co-advised by Ray Hilborn and Daniel Schindler. She is part of the Alaska Salmon Program, where most of her research is in Bristol Bay, Alaska. She is studying the phenology, decision-making, behavior, and movement ecology of sockeye salmon. Ashley is currently designing an individual-based model to investigate the relationships between habitat characteristics and animal population densities at different spatial scales. Using a variety of statistical methods, she hopes to find out how diverse landscape compositions influence the spatial distribution of salmon within a stream and how it affects their population productivity and survival.