SAFS Newsletter Masthead

Awards & Honors


Degree program and advising faculty in parentheses.

Dave Lawrence (PhD, Olden) was the recipient of the Society for Conservation Biology’s 2011 Spotlight on Student Research award (North America region). The award was based on his research into the role of national parks in supporting freshwater fish diversity. Dave is helping the National Park Service to understand each park’s contribution to the broader fish diversity puzzle, prioritize allocation of scarce funding, and develop a comprehensive, network-based conservation strategy.

In 2011, the National Science Foundation awarded the UW an Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant to establish an interdisciplinary PhD Program on Ocean Change. Donna Hauser (Laidre) is in the first cohort of students to receive a IGERT award, which will support her investigations of the current and predicted habitat of Alaskan Arctic cetaceans.

At the Annual Shellfish Conference in Salem last September, Elene Dorfmeier (MS, Friedman), was awarded Best Student Presentation by the National Shellfisheries Association–Pacific Coast Section. Her presentation focused on “Ocean acidification and disease: How will a changing climate impact Vibrio tubiashii growth and pathogenicity?”

Two of our graduate students, Jennifer Griffiths and Jessica Rohde, will be presenting talks at Engage: The Science Speaker Series, a collaboration of the UW, Pacific Science Center and the University Book Store. Jenn’s talk will be “Fish Out Of Water? Salmon And Rapid Environmental Change” and Jessica will present on “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Diverse Migration Patterns of Puget Sound Coho Salmon.” For more info, see the website.

2nd Graduate Student Symposium

Each year, our graduate students present their research at the Graduate Student Symposium. Part of the event includes awards, voted on by the attendees, for presentations and posters:

  • Best MS Oral Presentation: Andy Whitehouse (Essington)
  • Best PhD Oral Presentation: Dan Drinan (Naish)
  • People’s Choice Award for Oral Presentation: Laura Kuehne (Olden)
  • Best Poster Presentation: Meryl Mims (Olden)


Last October, SAFS associate professor Julian Olden was the guest speaker for the College of the Environment Annual Dean’s Lecture. He talked about the various ways that freshwater ecosystems respond to biological invasions and the world views and myths that underlie them, including ecologists’ tendency to use militaristic terms such as “battle,” “harm,” “destroy,” and “meltdown” when communicating about invasive species.

  • Watch the lecture video (3.5Gb). Note: This is a large-format video; for viewing on smaller displays, use your browser's zoom functions to reduce the movie sufficiently to fit into your display area.

Affiliate faculty member Ed Melvin and Troy Guy (both Washington Sea Grant researcher staff) focus on helping commercial fisheries reduce seabird bycatch. Their research triggered an innovation used on a Japanese high-seas tuna vessel—the Yamazaki double-weight branchline—that won both the Grand prize and the Tuna prize of the 2011 World Wildlife Fund Smart Gear competition. This device helped reduce seabird bycatch with no effect on fish catch, and it has proved safe and practical for the crew to use. More info…

Ken Sebens, who joined the SAFS faculty in 2010 and is the director of the Friday Harbor Labs [FHL], was recently named the inaugural Dennis Willows Director’s Endowed Professor. This endowment was established in honor of former FHL Director and Biology Professor Emeritus Dennis Willows.


Photos: © 2011