Cascadia Welcomes Dr. Amy Van Cise!

07-19-2021 17:07

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Amy Van Cise has joined the Cascadia team. Amy will be involved in work with both west coast baleen whales and Hawaiian odontocetes, undertaking analyses of photo-identification and tagging data sets, estimating abundance and examining spatial use, among other things.

Hawaiian Petrel, Amy Van Cise

The photo above shows Amy holding a Hawaiian Petrel, a bird that was in distress off the coast of Hawaiʻi Island that we rescued on one of our field projects​.

Amy has been collaborating with our Hawai‘i research since 2012, through her graduate work on short-finned pilot whales. Amy takes an evolutionary ecology approach to cetacean biology, using genetic and acoustic data to understand population structure on multiple timescales. Her previous work has been focused on how social behaviors can drive ecological and evolutionary patterns within species. She is coming to Cascadia after completing a postdoctoral scholarship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she studied the acoustic repertoire and epidermal microbiomes of Alaskan beluga whales. Before her postdoc, Amy studied links between vocal behavior, associations, and genetic structure in Hawaiian pilot whales at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Her work there also included studies of global genetic and acoustic population structure and taxonomy in short-finned pilot whales, which led to a formal recommendation to designate two new subspecies within the species.

We welcome Amy and look forward to working with her on both new and continuing projects!

If you want more information on some of Amy’s prior work on pilot whales check out the following publications:

Van Cise, A.M., R.W. Baird, C.S. Baker, S. Cerchio, D. Claridge, R. Fielding, B. Hancock-Hanser, J. Marrero, K.K. Martien, A.A. Mignucci-Giannoni, E.M. Oleson, M. Oremus, M.M. Poole, P.E. Rosel, B.L. Taylor and P.A. Morin. 2019. Oceanographic barriers, divergence, and admixture: phylogeography and taxonomy of two putative subspecies of short-finned pilot whale. Molecular Ecology doi:10.1111/mec.15107. Read a copy of this paper.
Van Cise, A.M., S.D. Mahaffy, R.W. Baird, T.A. Mooney and J. Barlow. 2018. Song of my people: dialect differences among sympatric social groups of short-finned pilot whales in Hawai’i. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72. Download PDF copy.
Van Cise, A.M., M.A. Roch, R.W. Baird, T.A. Mooney and J. Barlow. 2017. Acoustic differentiation of Shiho- and Naisa-type short-finned pilot whales in the Pacific Ocean. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America doi: 10.1121/1.4974858. Download PDF copy.
Van Cise, A. M., K. K. Martien, S. D. Mahaffy, R. W. Baird, D. L. Webster, J. H. Fowler, E. M. Oleson, P. A. Morin. 2017. Familial social structure and socially driven genetic differentiation in Hawaiian short-finned pilot whales. Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14397. Download PDF copy.
Van Cise, A.M., P.A. Morin, R.W. Baird, A.R. Lang, K.M. Robertson, S.J. Chivers, R.L. Brownell, Jr., and K.K. Martin. 2016. Redrawing the map: mtDNA provides new insight into the distribution and diversity of short-finned pilot whales in the Pacific Ocean. Marine Mammal Science doi: 10.1111/mms.12315. Download PDF copy.