Plenary Speakers

Meet the Plenary Speakers

The Program Committee is proud to introduce our three dynamic plenary speakers for the chapter meeting this year.

Dr. Amanda Kelley – University of Alaska Fairbanks

Amanda Kelley is an Assistant Professor in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Portland State University and completed a National Science Foundation Polar Programs Postdoctoral Fellowship prior to her appointment at UAF. Her research focuses on organisms -environment interactions in the context of ocean change. Current projects include understanding the drivers of nearshore carbonate chemistry variability in high-latitudes using in situ autonomous mooring arrays and characterizing the response of commercial, subsistence and recreational marine species to future-ocean change (ocean acidification, increased temperature, etc.) using manipulative laboratory experiments.

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake – First Alaskans Institute

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake is from Prince of Wales Island and currently lives in Juneau.  ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak is of Haida, Tlingit and Ahtna Athabascan descent and belongs to the Káat nay-st/Yahkw ’Láanaas (Shark House/Middle Town People) Clan.  She currently serves as the Director of the Alaska Native Policy Center with First Alaskans Institute, where she promotes the self-determination of Alaska Native peoples through strengthening opportunities for indigenous voices to be at the forefront of leading, solving, confronting, and advocating for Indigenous communities.  Her previous positions include working for Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon and Governor Bill Walker where she served as policy staffer/advisor, where she was responsible for fisheries/marine resources and Tribal affairs.  She received her Master’s degree from UAF in Rural Development focusing her thesis on Fisheries Development in Rural Alaska. She received her undergraduate degree(s) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BA in Rural Economic Development and an AA in Tribal Management. – University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Dr. Erika Eliason – University of California – Santa Barbara

Erika Eliason is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her PhD and MSc from the University of British Columbia and BSc from Simon Fraser University, Canada. Erika studies ecological and evolutionary physiology in aquatic animals. She is interested in how natural and anthropogenic stressors influence performance traits and species distributions.

Much of the work in the Eliason lab has examined intraspecific variability and thermal tolerance in Pacific salmon. They are particularly interested in whether individual variation can enable salmon to survive and succeed in a changing world. Recent research has focused on how climate change affects physiological performance across populations, age, body size, and sex in salmon.