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Lauren Wild, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Fisheries Technology 


 101B, Sitka Campus



  • PhD in Fisheries, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2020)
  • M.S. in Marine Mammal Science, University of St. Andrews (2013)
  • B.A. in International and Global Studies, Brandeis University (2009)


Sperm whale interactions with longline fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska, 2009-Present

  • Managing acoustics projects studying sperm whale interactions with fishing activity
  • Testing acoustic and passive deterrents to reduce sperm whale interactions with fishing gear
  • Diet studies: stable isotope techniques with whales, groundfish, and squid in the Gulf of Alaska
  • Tagging studies: satellite tag movements and habitat use of sperm whales

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

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


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.

Wild, L.A., Straley, J.M., Witteveen, B., Mueter, F.J. (2020). "Exploring variability in depredating sperm whale diets in the Gulf of Alaska through stable isotope analysis." Royal Soc. Open Sci. 7: 191110.


SMM (Society for Marine Mammalogy)

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

FT 120 - Fisheries of Alaska

FT 274 - Fisheries Biology

OCN 101 - Introduction to Oceanography


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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