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Lauren Wild, Ph.D.

Lauren Wild, Ph.D. (she/her)

Assistant Professor

Career Education — Applied Fisheries


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

Research Interests

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

Gray whale presence during herring spawning in Sitka Sound, 2023-present

  • Photo-identification, tissue sampling, foraging ecology, and body condition analysis
  • Interactions and consumption rates of herring eggs and larvae; impacts and interactions with herring resources

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

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

Professional Affiliations

  • SMM (Society for Marine Mammalogy)
  • AFS (American Fisheries Society) Alaska Chapter
  • ACA (Acoustical Society of America)
  • AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 193 - Introduction to Stable Isotope Techniques in Research
  • BIOL 193 - Skeleton Articulation as an Introduction to MArine Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 294 - Stable Isotope Analysis in Ecological Research Practicum
  • FT 120 - Fisheries of Alaska
  • FT 274 - Fisheries Biology
  • FT 194 - Fisheries Policy Practicum
  • OCN 101 - Introduction to Oceanography


Lauren was born and raised in Sheet'ká (Sitka), in Southeast Alaska, on the traditional lands of the Tlingit people who have stewarded the land for over ten thousand years. 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, socio-economic, 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 and 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, she can be found hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting with family, friends, her husband Evan, son Grady, and her dog Nysa.

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday 9 am - 12pm or by appointment.

Lauren Wild, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Career Education — Applied Fisheries

Lauren Wild, Ph.D.