Erin Oleson, PhD
Erin's own research interests are in the application of passive acoustic monitoring methods to understand cetacean distribution, abundance, and behavior, and how those factors relate to their oceanic habitat. Among other cetacean assessment projects, at present this includes investigating how to reduce bait and catch stealing, or depredation, and related bycatch of false killer whales in the Hawaii-based longline fleet through deployment of passive acoustic monitors placed on fishing gear. The project aims to identify relationships between false killer whale occurrence near the gear and other fishery variables, including sounds produced by the fishing vessel or gear that may act as a 'dinner bell' to the whales.
Erin has also overseen the 10+ year Pacific Islands Passive Acoustic Network providing long-term data on cetaceans and soundscapes across the central and western Pacific. Erin obtained her Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from the University of California San Diego and received her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist and Project Scientist at Scripps prior to starting her position as the Program Leader for the Cetacean Research Program at Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in 2008. Erin was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2010.