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 long-term phenological patterns and spatial ecology of cetaceans, 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 protected species 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.

Natalie Posdaljian
Natalie Posdaljian

Dr. Natalie Posdaljian

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Natalie Posdaljian is a postdoctoral researcher. She earned her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography in 2023 and a B.S. in Environmental Systems - Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution in 2014 from the University of California, San Diego. 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.

Research Staff

Bruce Thayre
Bruce Thayre

Bruce Thayre

Research Staff

Bruce J. Thayre is an Oceanographic 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.

Jonathan Stewart
Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

Research Staff

Jonathan Stewart is an Oceanographic Instrumentation Technician at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He received a bachelor's degree in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2014. His current work focuses on maintaining acoustic research instrumentation and related moorings, both at sea and in the lab. Jonathan has spent much of his life exploring the Pacific coast from Alaska to southern Mexico. He continues to share his passion for the marine environment as an outdoor educator and sailing instructor.

Gabrielle Arrieta
Gabrielle Arrieta

Gabrielle Arrieta

Research Staff

Gabrielle Arrieta is an Oceanographic Instrumentation Technician in the group. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In her undergrad, Gabrielle worked on identifying the source of a mysterious fish chorus in the San Diego Trough. For her M.S. research, Gabrielle used passive acoustics to track blue whales based on their D calls off the coast of Southern California. She is now mostly working as a marine technician on field instrumentation but also continues some of the acoustic data analysis. When she is not working, Gabrielle enjoys crocheting and hanging out with her dog, Kayo.

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.

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.

Lauren Baggett
Lauren Baggett

Lauren Baggett

Research Staff

Lauren Baggett is a Research Analyst in the group. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She is interested in the impacts of anthropogenic sound on deep-diving cetaceans, particularly Cuvier's beaked whales and has been working on 3D tracking of diving cetaceans using multi-channel passive acoustics. In her free time, Lauren enjoys trying new recipes and visiting the many trails and campgrounds throughout California.

Clara Schoenbeck
Clara Schoenbeck

Clara Schoenbeck

Research Staff

Clara Schoenbeck is a Research Analyst in the group. Clara earner her B.S. and M.S. degrees in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During her undergrad, Clara interned with the Dolphin Cognition Lab, collecting data on the gaze following behaviors of bottlenose dolphins. Her MS research investigated how oceanographic conditions in the Southern California Bight influenced beaked whale presence over the past decade. She currently investigates airgun noise in the Western North Atlantic. Outside of her research, Clara enjoys baking, snorkeling, and exploring San Diego with her friends.

Graduate Students

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 Oceanography. Ella is a NOAA Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar, and her research focuses on fish chorusing and essential fish habitat within the West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries. When she’s not in the lab, you can find Ella playing soccer, surfing, running, 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.

Aaron Deans
Aaron Deans

Aaron Deans

PhD Student

Aaron Deans is a Ph.D. student in biological oceanography at Scripps Oceanography. He earned his B.S. in Marine Biology from UC San Diego in 2023 with a minor in Music. Before that, Aaron spent two years with the lab as an undergraduate researcher, exploring sperm whale distribution and demographics in the western North Atlantic and Baja California. Now, as a graduate student, he is interested in uncovering the ecology and distribution of cryptic cetacean species using innovative solutions for real-time acoustic detection.

Hadley Clark
Hadley Clark

Hadley Clark

MS Student

Hadley Clark is a Master's student in Biological Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She earned her B.S. in Marine Science at California State University Monterey Bay. She then worked as a Research Assistant in Dan Zitterbart's Marine Animal Remote Sensing Lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for 3.5 years. She studied the spatial correlation between dimethyl sulfide (DMS) concentrations in relation to North Atlantic Right Whale abundance to eventually provide real-time location information to proximate ships to decrease right whale ship-strike fatalities. Her research at Scripps focuses on using passive acoustic technology to understand the interaction between Hawaii’s endangered false killer whale population and the local fisheries for conservation and management implementation strategies. In her free time, Hadley enjoys running, sailing and spending time with friends.

Carlotta Miotto
Carlotta Miotto

Carlotta Miotto

MS Student

Carlotta Miotto is a Master's student in Applied Ocean Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Carlotta comes from Piazzola sul Brenta, Italy, with a background in economics and finance. She graduated from the University of Venice in 2013, and from the Copenhagen Business School in 2016. After some years in the corporate world, she recently decided to pursue her passion at Scripps. Her research interests are at the intersection of economics and marine conservation, in demonstrating the socioeconomic and financial benefits of protecting whales, emphasising their key role in the carbon pump. She loves animals, food, and exploring nature!

Undergraduate Students

Dolapo Adesanya
Dolapo Adesanya

Dolapo Adesanya

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Dolapo Adesanya is a third-year undergraduate student working toward a B.S. degree in chemistry with a minor in math at Howard University. He first joined the group during the 2023 Marine Physical Lab summer internship. He continues to assist Ph.D. student Michaela Alksne in the development of a convolutional neural network for identifying and classifying blue and fin whale calls in the NE Pacific. Additionally, his diverse activities outside of academics, such as being an Afrobeats artist, YouTuber, model, and model coach, highlight his creative and versatile interests.

Joseph Andres
Joseph Andres

Joseph Andres

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Joseph Andres is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in marine biology. He is most interested in the behavior and ecology of large marine vertebrates, particularly marine predators. Joseph is currently assisting Lauren with research on density estimation of Cuvier's beaked whale in Southern California. In his free time, Joey enjoys playing tennis, exercising, and spending time with friends.

Kaya Cohen
Kaya Cohen

Kaya Cohen

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kaya Cohen is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at UC San Diego studying Ecology, Behavior, and Evolutionary Sciences. Previously, she helped former MS student Gabrielle Arrieta by operating a blue whale D-call detector and studying the interplay of blue whale D and B calls. Currently, she is aiding PhD student Michaela Alksne by manually marking blue and fin whale calls to develop a neural network for automated detection and classification. Kaya is extremely passionate about the ocean and has been an advocate for climate justice on campus and in the San Diego area. Outside of classes, she enjoys freediving or scuba diving in La Jolla, making jewelry, and climbing.

Isabelle Jeuris
Isabelle Jeuris

Isabelle Jeuris

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Isabelle Jeuris is an Undergraduate Student Researcher obtaining her B.S. degree in marine biology at UC San Diego. She has been assisting Ph.D. student Michaela Alksne in studying the presence of blue and fin whales along the Southern California coast using passive acoustic data derived from sonobuoys. Additionally, she continues to investigate humpback whale presence through analysis of their song. It is her long term goal to pursue a career in marine ecology, understanding how ecosystems respond to a changing climate as well as discovering effective and innovative solutions to help preserve marine life. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and painting, deriving creative inspiration from her studies of the ocean's dynamic ecological communities.

Ainsleigh Lloyd
Ainsleigh Lloyd

Ainsleigh Lloyd

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ainsleigh Lloyd is an Undergraduate Research Assistant studying marine biology at UC San Diego. She first joined the lab in 2023 as a Marine Physical Laboratory summer intern and assisted PhD candidate Ella Kim with identifying fish chorusing presence in the Southern California Bight. Now, she is continuing this work with Ella and expanding into training a machine learning algorithm to automatically detect fish choruses. When she is not in the lab or studying, you can find Ainsleigh hiking, tidepooling, playing guitar, or painting.

Angeles Rios
Angeles Rios

Angeles Rios

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Angeles Rios is an Undergraduate Research Assistant studying marine biology at UCSD. They have been researching Baird's beaked whale presence throughout the North Pacific using passive acoustic data. Angeles is interested in investigating whether Baird's beaked whale and Sato's beaked whale produce distinct echolocation clicks. In their free time, Angeles enjoys crocheting and doodling anything from characters to creatures.

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