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.
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: