Jessica is a research associate with SR3, SeaLife Response, Rehabilitation and Research in Seattle, WA. She is currently working on several projects that monitor the health of the critically endangered southern resident killer whale population in the Salish Sea and humpback, minke and killer whales around the Antarctic Peninsula. Her main research interests are the predator prey dynamics of the Southern Ocean. She plans to start a PhD with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand summer 2021. Her research will use nanopore DNA sequencing and DNA metabarcoding to investigate the effects of climate change and fishing pressure on the diet of killer whales and Weddell seals in the Ross Sea.
She has been involved with marine mammal research for more than 15 years, including positions on commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and with projects studying marine mammals in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington state and the Galapagos. Jessica also spent four seasons living in a small sea-ice camp near McMurdo station Antarctica, working with Weddell seals as part of a long-term population study.
Jessica also has a passion for photography. She has helped research projects meet their outreach goals by collecting and contributing video and photographic media and has had the privilege of working with the BBC's Natural History Unit filming Frozen Planet in both Antarctica and Alaska. In 2019, Jessica was a winner in the highly competitive Underwater Photographer of the Year competition for an image she took during an expedition on Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Explorer in the Antarctic Peninsula.