Principal Investigator

Simone Baumann-Pickering
Simone Baumann-Pickering

Dr. Simone Baumann-Pickering

Principal Investigator

Dr. Simone Baumann-Pickering is a Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her research covers time-series analysis of phenological patterns and spatial ecology of pelagic nekton, interactions of predators and prey, and adaptations of animals to natural and anthropogenic changes in the environment. She has carried out collaborative ecological research using advanced acoustical and environmental sampling technologies with indirect and direct applications to fisheries management.

Researchers

Alba Solsona Berga
Alba Solsona Berga

Dr. Alba Solsona Berga

Assistant Project Scientist

Dr. Alba Solsona Berga received her BS in Biology from the University of Barcelona in 2012, her MS in Biological Oceanography from the University of Vigo in 2013, and her PhD from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain. Her research focuses on automated detection and classification techniques for acoustic signals, and how anthropogenic noise and environmental variables influence habitat use of these cetacean species. When she’s not wrestling with MATLAB, she likes to spread the knowledge and inspiration of biomimicry for sustainable innovations.

Research Staff

Shelby Bloom
Shelby Bloom

Shelby Bloom

Research Staff

Shelby Bloom is a Data Processing Specialist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After receiving a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2020, she joined the lab and earned her M.S. in Marine Biology at Scripps in 2022. Her M.S. research focused on investigating cetacean predator-prey dynamics by coupling passive and active acoustics with physical oceanographic observations. Outside of the lab, you can usually find Shelby eating spicy foods down by the beach.

Kieran Lenssen
Kieran Lenssen

Kieran Lenssen

Research Staff

Kieran Lenssen is a Research Engineer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He received his BA in physics from Whitman College in 2019 and MS in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2021. He first joined the lab as an MPL intern working in the hydrophone lab, designing and prototyping a modular hydrophone system. His current work focuses on the hydrophone and datalogging systems, as well as developing new recording systems.

Ally Rice
Ally Rice

Ally Rice

Research Staff

Ally Rice is a Staff Research Associate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received her BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College in New York. She first came to SIO in the summer of 2012 as an MPL intern where she worked on a project investigating fin whale song patterns in the North Pacific. After spending a summer at OrcaLab using acoustics and land-based observation to identify orcas, she returned to SIO in 2013. Her current research focuses primarily on spatial and temporal patterns of baleen whales.

Bruce Thayre
Bruce Thayre

Bruce Thayre

Research Staff

Bruce J. Thayre is an Ocean Instrumentation Technician at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He received bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from UCSD. He came to SIO in 2009, where he worked on implementation of automated analysis methods on distributed computing resources in the Open Science Grid. He currently focuses on field operations management, instrumentation, and field work.

Graduate Students

Natalie Posdaljian
Natalie Posdaljian

Natalie Posdaljian

PhD Student

Natalie Posdaljian is a PhD student in biological oceanography. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Systems - Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. She spent two years working as a North Pacific Groundfish observer in Alaska before coming to Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is interested in how we can use passive acoustic monitoring to explore the spatiotemporal distribution and population structure of cetaceans, with a focus on sperm whales.

Ella Bea Kim
Ella Bea Kim

Ella Bea Kim

PhD Student

Ella Bea Kim is a PhD student in biological oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned her BA in Environmental Analysis from Scripps College in 2017. She spent two years working as the Applied Mathematics Department Head at The Island School in The Bahamas before coming to Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her current research focuses on National Marine Sanctuary soundscape monitoring. Climate change and human impacts on multi-trophic level ecology lie at the heart of her research curiosities. When she’s not in the lab, you can find Ella running, surfing, playing soccer, eating spicy foods, and exploring the ocean.

Michaela Alksne
Michaela Alksne

Michaela Alksne

PhD Student

Michaela Alksne is a PhD student in biological oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned her B.S in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2020. She is interested in using passive acoustic monitoring to investigate the biogeography of cetaceans in the northeastern Pacific ocean. Her current research focuses on elucidating physical drivers leading to biogeographic shifts of pacific white-sided dolphins. If she’s not in her office, Michaela can usually be found surfing somewhere nearby.

Shannon Dolan
Shannon Dolan

Shannon Dolan

PhD Student

Shannon Dolan is a PhD student in biological oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Sciences at North Carolina State University in 2022 with minors in marine science, applied ecology, and technical & scientific communication. She is interested in using passive and active acoustics to research Cuvier's beaked whales and their prey, with the goal of better understanding deep-sea ecology and marine mammal foraging behavior.

Gabrielle Arrieta
Gabrielle Arrieta

Gabrielle Arrieta

MS Student

Gabrielle Arrieta is a master's student in the BS/MS program in the marine biology curricular group. In her undergrad, Gabrielle worked on identifying the source of a mysterious fish chorus in the San Diego Trough with the Scripps Acoustic Ecology Lab. Gabrielle is currently working on using passive acoustics to track blue and fin whales off the coast of Southern California to assess the effect of mid-frequency sonar on their behavior. When she is not studying, Gabrielle enjoys crocheting and hanging out with her dog, Kayo.

Lauren Baggett
Lauren Baggett

Lauren Baggett

MS Student

Lauren Baggett is a M.S. student in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned her B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 2022. She is interested in the impacts of anthropogenic sound on deep-diving cetaceans, particularly Cuvier's beaked whales. In her free time, Lauren enjoys trying new recipes and visiting the many trails and campgrounds throughout California.

Clara Schoenbeck
Clara Schoenbeck

Clara Schoenbeck

MS Student

Clara Schoenbeck is a M.S. student in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned a B.S. in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2022. During her undergrad, Clara interned with the Dolphin Cognition Lab, collecting data on the gaze following behaviors of bottlenose dolphins. Her current research investigates how oceanographic conditions in the Southern California Bight influence beaked whale presence. Outside of her research, Clara also enjoys baking, snorkeling, and exploring San Diego with her friends.

Undergraduate Students

Aaron Deans
Aaron Deans

Aaron Deans

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aaron Deans is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in marine biology. After graduation, he hopes to do research in either inland aquatic ecology or marine ecology, in order to better understand these ecosystems and help inform sustainable management decisions. Aaron is currently assisting Natalie with research on sperm whale population demographics, biogeography, and density estimation. In his free time, Aaron is an avid creator, writing songs and fictional stories.

Former Lab Members

Postdoctoral Researcher:  Annebelle Kok, Anne Simonis

PhD Student:  Ashlyn Giddings, Anna Krumpel, Morgan Ziegenhorn, Alba Solsona Berga, Anne Simonis 

MS Student:  Catalina Aguilar, Shelby Bloom, Eadoh Reshef, Grace Teller

Research Staff:  Jennifer Trickey, Fairlie Reese, Arial Brewer, Alexa Alldredge, Rachel Gottlieb, Lawrence Balitaan

Undergraduate Student:  Caroline Soderstjerna, Eduardo Ruiz Morales, Ashley Vu, Taylor Ackerknecht, Ashtyn Clowett, Ellen Jacobs, Elyse Goin, Fairlie Reese, Alexa Alldredge, Rachel Gottlieb, Atalani Jackson