Trevor Branch

  • Associate Professor, SAFS
  • Faculty Member, UW QERM Graduate Program

Research areas

I focus on solving biological problems through data synthesis and mathematical models and work on a variety of research projects, including:

My graduate students and postdocs are currently working on modeling oceanographic factors and herring status in Prince William Sound, developing new methods for data-limited fisheries stock assessments, modeling how to improve management of California market squid, and predicting which species are most likely to be threatened by extinction because of opportunistic exploitation.

Prospective graduate students: Students in my lab usually have skills in math, statistics, and programming. If you are interested in joining my lab, please send me an email with (1) your CV, (2) unofficial transcripts, (3) a couple of paragraphs about your research interests, (4) your GRE scores, if available, and (5) a recent written example of your work. I will not make any decisions about incoming students until Jan-Feb of the year of admission.


Areas of Expertise

  • Ecological modeling and statistics
  • Marine conservation
  • Marine food webs
  • Catch share fisheries
  • Large cetaceans

Community Engagement and Awards

Selected service

  • Scientific Review Group, USA-Canada Pacific Whiting/Hake International Treaty Organization since 2015
  • Invited participant to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission starting in 2000
  • Member of four NCEAS working groups
  • Peer reviewer for 63 journals
  • Active science communication outreach through @TrevorABranch and @BlueWhaleNews on Twitter, with 12,000 followers and 8.2 million views a year

Selected awards

  • 2013 College of the Environment Outstanding Researcher Award
  • 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow
  • 2011 Sustainability Science Award, Ecological Society of America

Selected publications

  • 2013. T. A. Branch, A. S. Lobo, and S. W. Purcell. Opportunistic exploitation: an overlooked pathway to extinction. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28:409-413.

  • 2017. Monnahan, C. C., J. T. Thorson, and T. A. Branch. Faster estimation of Bayesian models in ecology using Hamiltonian Monte Carlo. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:339-348.

  • 2010. Branch, T. A., R. Watson, E. A. Fulton, S. Jennings, C. R. McGilliard, G. T. Pablico, D. Ricard, and S. R. Tracey. The trophic fingerprint of marine fisheries. Nature 468:431-435.

  • 2009. Worm, B., R. Hilborn, J. K. Baum, T. A. Branch, J. S. Collie, C. Costello, M. J. Fogarty, E. A. Fulton, J. A. Hutchings, S. Jennings, O. P. Jensen, H. K. Lotze, P. M. Mace, T. R. McClanahan, C. Minto, S. R. Palumbi, A. M. Parma, D. Ricard, A. A. Rosenberg, R. Watson, and D. Zeller. Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325:578-585.

  • 2007. Branch, T. A. and 42 coauthors. Past and present distribution, densities and movements of blue whales Balaenoptera musculus in the Southern Hemisphere and northern Indian Ocean. Mammal Review 37:116-175.

  • 2017. Rudd, M. B. & Branch, T. A. Does unreported catch lead to overfishing? Fish and Fisheries 18:313-323

  • 2017. Barnett, L. A. K., T. A. Branch, R. A. Ranasinghe, and T. E. Essington. Old-growth fishes become scarce under fishing. Current Biology 27:2843-2848.

  • 2017 Anderson, S. C., T. A. Branch, A. B. Cooper, and N. K. Dulvy. Black-swan events in animal populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 114:3252-3257.