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Kim Parsons, Dr.




Marine Mammal Laboratory





Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center/NOAA
7600 Sand Point Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115-6349

Current Activities

Kim Parsons is a research biologist contracted with MML's Cetacean Assessment Ecology Program (CAEP). Her primary research interests concern the social ecology and genetic structuring of marine mammal populations, particularly as they pertain to conservation and management objectives. Currently, Kim is working on several collaborative projects including 1) an assessment of the population genetic structure of killer whales in the northern North Pacific and 2) an evaluation of dynamic survival rates and environmental covariates for the Southern Resident killer whale population.


Kim began working with NMML in November 2006. She also participated as a research scientist in the CAEP Aleutian Islands killer whale surveys in 2003 and 2004. Prior to that, she was a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral research associate at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where she conducted research quantifying the long-term social dynamics of the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population and exploring the causes and consequences of these socio-ecological changes. Previously, Kim held a teaching fellowship at the University of Aberdeen (UK). She is a long-time affiliate of the Center for Whale Research and has conducted research on cetaceans in the Bahamas since 1994. She holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Aberdeen for her work on the molecular and behavioral ecology of bottlenose dolphins, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Victoria (Canada).

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