Leslie Cornick, Ph.D.


Professor Marine Biology & Statistics at Alaska Pacific University

• Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology, Texas A&M University
• M.A. Physiology and Behavioral Biology, San Francisco State University
• B.A. Biological Anthropology, University of California at San Diego

If I had to sum up my research philosophy in one word, it would be synergy. Nothing in the natural world exists in isolation, including humans, and it is critical that we realize that our actions in the environment have consequences. But with sound science combined with common sense and persistence, we can improve the state of the marine environment and the quality of our lives at the same time. For me the foundation of this process is education, and I get the greatest proportion of my job satisfaction from interacting with students who are as excited as I am about science and the ocean.

Prof. C.’s research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to examining the physiological constraints on foraging in marine mammals, and the plasticity of foraging strategies in response to natural and anthropogenic changes in the environment.

She has worked with both captive and free-ranging animals, including dolphins, seals and sea lions in California, Alaska, Belize, and the Antarctic.  Her most recent work includes beluga whale monitoring projects in Knik Arm, Cook Inlet, AK and as a co-Principal Investigator on a NOAA project assessing health of beluga whales in Bristol Bay, AK.

She has been published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology, Ecological Modeling, the Journal of Mammalogy, and the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  She is a former National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, and was awarded the Faculty Merit Award for Research in 2007.

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