Using our knowledge and skills to help solve real-world problems.
Our vision is to better understand and manage aquatic ecosystems through the integration of data, analysis, and communication.
We are dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of their background, identity, appearance, or manner of communication. Our team works in an open science environment, relying on trust and respect to build effective partnerships. We continually strive to improve and expand upon our complimentary skillsets through education and innovation, and we believe strongly in the sharing of knowledge through conversation and writing.
We acknowledge the ancestral homelands of those who walked here before us and those who still walk here, keeping in mind the integrity of this territory where area Native peoples identify as the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Puyallup, as well as the tribes of the Muckleshoot, Tulalip, other Coast Salish peoples, and their descendants. We are grateful to respectfully live and work as guests on these lands with the Coast Salish and Native people who call this home.
Mark’s research interests lie at the intersection of ecology and management. He is broadly interested in the roles of natural and anthropogenic drivers on freshwater and coastal ecosystems, and the services we derive from them. You can find out more about Mark’s research and teaching interests here. Mark also appreciates a healthy work-life balance. In his free time, Mark enjoys cycling, skiing, and enjoying Seattle and the surrounding area with his family.
Dara obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle in the summer of 2019 where the focus of her research was underwater acoustics – specifically anthropogenic and background noise characterization. Dara began her university career with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago, and went on to complete her master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign on a Fulbright-LASPAU scholarship. She strives toward a multi-disciplinary approach to measuring, understanding, and solving environmental problems, and uses machine learning, GIS and passive acoustics in her work. She finds great satisfaction in being involved in multi-disciplinary projects that allow her to hone her engineering- and acoustics-related skills.
Markus’s research interests are primarily focused on the application of ecological and statistical models to the management of marine ecosystems and fisheries. In addition to his research, Markus is also passionate about mentoring, teaching, and advancing equity in science. Prior to coming to SAFS, he completed his BS in Marine Biology at UCLA and worked as a research assistant in the Biological Oceanography Group at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). While his research at both UCLA and MBARI was focused on the new, exciting field of environmental DNA (eDNA), it was his time spent studying groundfish as an intern at NOAA Fisheries that inspired him to return to Seattle to study fisheries science and marine ecology at SAFS. In addition to his academic interests, Markus enjoys playing music, baking, fishing, hiking, and soccer. Find out more about Markus here.
Brian’s academic interests focus on management of common pool resources. He graduated from the University of Arizona in December 2021 with a MS in Applied Econometrics and Policy Analysis from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He was the primary author of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center’s 2021 Arroyo, Groundwater Management – Past, Present and Future and 2022 Arroyo, Water Resilience – Indigenous Perspectives. Brian is currently pursuing a PhD in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, where he’s receiving intensive training in the application of statistical, mathematical, and decision sciences to terrestrial and aquatic ecology, natural resource management, biometrics, and mathematical biology. Brian’s research involves best management practices for salmon populations.
Nicole is interested in studying culturally important fishery species that have been impacted by environmental change. Her current thesis work involves studying the impacts of urbanization, climate change, and predation by introduced species on Kokanee salmon in Lake Sammamish. Nicole is passionate about increasing equity and inclusion in STEM through her involvement with the SAFS Equity and Inclusion Committee and organizations such as the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Society for the Advancements of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. Outside of work, Nicole enjoys reading, cooking, and playing video games. Feel free to reach out if you have questions about the lab, her research, or how to support DEI in STEM!
Andrea is a biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Marine Fish Science Unit where she is the Unit’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) program data manager, video annotation supervisor, and field coordinator, as well as an ROV pilot. In this position, her work supports long-term monitoring and population assessments of Salish Sea groundfish, principally rockfish and lingcod, in untrawlable habitats. Prior to WDFW, Andrea was support staff to the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) where she contributed to a range of projects, including the development of a derelict crabbing gear education and outreach program and the regional citizen science expansion of the NOAA Mussel Watch water quality program. When she’s not looking at fish on a computer, Andrea enjoys growing her own food, skiing, and sailing with her husband and rescue dog.
Tessa’s interests include predator-prey dynamics and studying anthropogenic influence on marine and freshwater species. Her current work focuses on the impact of artificial light levels on predation risk to juvenile salmon in Lake Washington, WA. Before joining SAFS, Tessa worked for the National Park Service in St Croix, USVI where she developed skills in hydro-acoustics, scuba-diving, and long-term saturation tagging projects. While working as a marine debris technician for the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, she found a passion for cleaning up the ocean and minimizing anthropogenic effects on marine species. After moving back to Seattle, Tessa began working for the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, where she remains a biological science technician. In her free time, Tessa enjoys kayaking on the Puget Sound, tending to her vegetable garden, and snuggling with her rescue pup, Jacque.
Amirah recently graduated from Western Washington University with a BS in Marine and Coastal Science with a minor in Spanish. While at WWU, she took part in research on the effects of PCBs and PBDEs on zebrafish and surf smelt. During her four years as an undergraduate, she was a marine science education intern at foundry10, the first undergraduate to teach a lab section of organismal biology, a peer mentor for the Marine and Coastal Science program and worked on the education team at Blue Zoo aquarium. In addition to her studies in SAFS, Amirah is a member of the Future Rivers program. When she is not in the lab or doing schoolwork, Amirah enjoys going to the gym, exploring the city with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows.
Research in the Applied Ecology Lab focuses on the conservation and management of aquatic resources, particularly within Washington State and along the west coast of North America. Much of our research is focused on the development and application of statistical methods for analyzing temporal and spatial data, but we collect our own data as well. Please see below for some examples of recent projects in our lab. In particular, our research relies on a combination of empirical data, quantitative analysis, and communication. We also pursue our scientific endeavors in an open science environment where we create accessible and reproducible workflows.
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, PO Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195-5020