Amy’s research program focuses on the use of sociality as an ecological and evolutionary strategy in some cetacean species, and the ways in which social behavior drives evolution and population structure in marine mammals. She uses an integrative approach to addressing questions that 1) advance our theoretical understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of social marine mammals, 2) allow managers to respond to protect threatened species with practical conservation applications, and 3) continue to develop and improve the methods we use to study these species.

Currently Amy’s lab focuses on acoustics and several types of ‘omic data (genomic, microbiome, eDNA) to address their study questions, and regularly collaborate with other marine top predator researchers to integrate complementary datasets. Ongoing research projects include the analysis of killer whale diets using nuclear and mitochondrial fecal DNA, improving the use of eDNA to detect and monitor large-scale marine mammal distributions, and examining the vocal behavior of an endangered beluga population as well as the potential vectors for microbiome and disease transmission within that population.

You can find out more about Amy’s research and her lab by visiting the WADE lab website.