We are interested in understanding the ecology of marine mammals and improving the teaching of science.

river otter with dark fur, sitting on a rock.

Biology Research

My students and I examine the role of marine mammals in their environment and their interactions with humans. Most of the work in the lab has concentrated on studying harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Salish Sea.

However we have also studied California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) off the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State, USA; river otters (Lontra canadensis) in the Salish Sea; New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) off Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand; bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) off the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica; harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Baltic Sea; and bottlenose dolphins in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

We even dabbled on studying long-spined sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) recovery in Costa Rica!

Four plants in black pots sittng on a black table. Each pot is labelled with a different number.

Science Education

I collaborate with faculty from the Science Mathematics and Technology Education program of Western Washington University to improve the teaching of science by preparing pre-service teachers and assisting in-service teachers and university faculty.

My science education work has concentrated on participating in various projects led by other SMATE faculty: improving the teaching and learning of science in NW Washington State, enhancing the teaching skills of MSc science students and developing a research-based curriculum for the biology classroom. Most recently, I am involved in a project helping transform the way we teach science at all educational levels in the State of Washington.