New Alaska Sea Grant-funded graduate students dive into research

Six graduate students from the University of Alaska became research fellows last summer and this fall with funding from Alaska Sea Grant.

Marta Ree

With funding from Alaska Sea Grant, UAF master’s student Marta Ree is studying how sockeye salmon on Kodiak Island are responding to climate variability.

The students are working on projects that address scientific issues in Alaska coastal communities and ecosystems.

Jesse Gordon is working with associate professor Anne Beaudreau on a project titled, “Integrating local ecological knowledge and survey data to improve assessment and management of rockfishes in Alaska.” Jesse is a master’s student based in Juneau.

Master’s student Jamie Musbach is working with professor Sherry Tamone of the University of Alaska Southeast on the project, “Metabolic and growth physiology of early life history stages of the northern spot shrimp, Pandalus platyceros.”

Chris Sergeant, a doctoral student based in Juneau, is working with Jeffrey Falke, Ryan Bellmore, Rebecca Bellmore, and Davin Holen to assess the resilience of southeast Alaskan salmon to a shifting freshwater environment.

Chris Sergeant

University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, graduate student Christopher Sergeant. His research is funded by Alaska Sea Grant. Photo by Paula Dobbyn

In Fairbanks, PhD candidate Ashley Rossin is working with assistant professor Amanda Kelley to examine the effects of ocean acidification on native Alaskan bivalves.

rossin_headshot (1)

Ashley Rossin, an Alaska Sea Grant-funded graduate student, holds a shark fin during a marine biology class at UAF, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Photo courtesy of Ashley Rossin

“All of these research projects will contribute to the growing body of scientific knowledge we have about Alaska. And they will directly and indirectly benefit the people who live in nearby communities and the state as a whole,” said Heather Brandon, director of Alaska Sea Grant.

More than 300 students have worked toward advanced degrees on Alaska Sea Grant–funded research projects since the late 1970s.

In addition to these six new graduate students, two others continue their research with support from Alaska Sea Grant. For her master’s project, Marta Ree is exploring sockeye salmon responses to climate change on Kodiak Island, under Beaudreau and assistant professor Peter Westley. Brian Ulaski continues his master’s work with associate dean Brenda Konar on “Kelp reproduction and harvest rebound in Kachemak Bay, Alaska.”