As a policy-trained, interdisciplinary scientist, I'm passionate about using a variety of techniques and forging collaborations between experts to develop new approaches to solve the big-picture problems facing our environment.

As part of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Marine Mammal Protection and Oceans team, I integrate data and information on behavior, genetics, and oceanography using geospatial tools to identify areas of the ocean crucial for marine mammals and then assess how vulnerable the areas are to human impacts. This information is used to advocate for improved protections related to a variety of issues, including ocean noise, ship strikes, and bycatch.

My research focuses on integrating genetic, habitat, and behavioral information to understand the distribution and connectivity of baleen whale populations. I also lead a project aimed at developing a standardized approach for integrating genetic information into marine spatial planning, including the global identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in collaboration with the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force and the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative.

I'm also a proud alumna of the Columbia University Family Support Network (CUFSN), a student group run by volunteers tirelessly creating a network of support for members of the Columbia community with families.

Off the clock, I'm usually cooking, eating, or reading about food. Follow me on Instagram @flakershaw (warning: no whales, just food).