Jim studies salmon ecology in the northern Bering Sea and Southeast Alaska. A focal point of his research is on the juvenile (first year at sea) life-history stage of salmon. He serves on the U.S./Canada Yukon River Joint Technical Committee, a bilateral body which developments management advice for salmon harvests in Alaska and Canada. He is responsible for developing models to both forecast returns of Chinook salmon to the Yukon River and provide scientific advice to support sustainable harvests of Southeast Alaska Pink salmon.
Jim began working as a fisheries research biologist at Auke Bay Laboratories over 25 years ago as part of his graduate research on salmon bycatch in North Pacific squid driftnet fisheries. Jim continued to work on the marine ecology of salmon in Alaska as part of the Ocean Carrying Capacity and Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment programs at the Auke Bay Laboratories, and has provided leadership for research on salmon marine ecology in the Northern Bering Sea and Southeast Alaska. Jim also leads research on the age, growth, life-history, and origin of salmon based on otolith micro-structure and chemistry.