Ellen Chenoweth

Ellen Chenoweth

Research Assistant Professor

Marine Biology

Room 108 UAS Sitka Campus
1332 Seward Avenue
Sitka, AK 99835


I was born and grew up in Michigan, but have lived in Sitka, Alaska since 2009. My first research jobs were in Glacier Bay National Park for the Humpback Whale Monitoring Program and as a technician in Jan Straley’s UAS Whale Lab. My Ph.D. research focused on humpback whale foraging at hatchery release sites to assess the energetic and economic costs of this foraging. I have collaborated on projects modeling ecosystem adaptation in subarctic waters including squid, large cetaceans, octopus, and their prey. I am passionate about developing educational opportunities for indigenous and rural students. As PI and director of the RASOR program, I collaborate with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and SEATOR Network to support research and academic opportunities for rural high school students rooted in their home communities and cultures. I also run the Annual Southeast Alaska Ocean Bowl Competition and developed the virtual whale necropsy, and mentor undergraduates as part of UAF BLaST.


Research Overview

As research faculty at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, based in Sitka, Alaska, I will use marine science research to contribute to our understanding of our changing environment, while working to improve access for indigenous and rural perspectives to this field of study. I am broadly interested in foraging ecology, energetic modeling, prey and habitat selection, and fisheries interactions.



Burford, B.P., L.A. Wild, R. Schwarz, E.M. Chenoweth, A. Sreenivasan, R. Elahi, N. Carey, H.T. Hoving, J.M. Straley, M.W. Denny. Rapid range expansion of a marine ectotherm reveals the demographic and ecological consequences of short-term variability in seawater temperature and dissolved oxygen. 2022. The American Naturalist. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/718575

Segre, P.S., W.T. Gough, E.A. Roualdes, [...], Ellen M Chenoweth, et al. Scaling of maneuvering performance in baleen whales: larger whales outperform expectations. 2022. Journal of Experimental Biology. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.243224



  • Energetic Modeling
  • Foraging Ecology
  • Megafaunal distribution, movement and habitat use
  • Cetacean-human interaction
  • Rural community-based research and education



University of Alaska Fairbanks
Ph.D. Fisheries





  • University of Alaska Southeast Affiliate Faculty
  • Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST) Research Advising and Mentoring Professional


Other Links

  • RASOR (Rural Alaska Students in One-health Research)