Our graduate students are working on fascinating projects with their faculty advisers. Read about some of their work.

Emma Hodgson, MS student

Emma HodgsonI joined the Essington Lab in the fall of 2012 to research the impact of human-caused stressors (such as fishing and ocean acidification) on ecologically and economically important species in the California Current. With a background in evolutionary biology at the University of British Columbia, I decided I wanted to pursue a degree in the applied biological sciences.

My research uses quantitative tools – population and ecosystem models – to ask questions about (1) How do organism responses change as they progress through their life stages (eggs, larvae, adults) and what is the risk at each life stage?, (2) How do impacts on lower trophic level species feed through the food web to affect the species we depend on for fisheries? and (3) Can we better understand cumulative environmental effects by using population models recognizing that consequences from stressors change with life stage? Outside of the thrilling activity of being a computer-biologist I make sure to get outside and explore Seattle/Washington and frequently head back up to Canada.


Tim Walsworth, PhD student

Tim WalsworthMy current research with the Schindler Lab focuses on the effects of species interactions and commercial fishery structure on the productivity of sockeye salmon populations, and the influence of juvenile life-history diversity on sockeye recruitment. More broadly, I am interested in how biotic interactions, including human exploitation, influence conservation and sustainability of fish populations, and the stability of aquatic ecosystems and the human communities that rely on them.


Michael Vlah – MS student

Michael_VlahI am interested in the ways in which nutrients and energy move through food webs, including those that are not obviously connected. My work with the Holtgrieve Ecosystem Ecology Lab seeks to quantify linkages that are known, identify those that are unknown, and determine the environmental conditions that govern food web dynamics. I use primarily elemental and compound-specific isotope analyses in my experimental approaches, but I believe a solid foundational knowledge of natural history is essential to good ecological work, and I strive continually to build my own. Spirit animal: Black lab.

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