Lara Horstmann

Lara Horstmann

Chair, Department of Marine Biology

Associate Professor

Fisheries Ecology
Marine Biology
Marine Mammals

College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
232 Irving II
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
907-474-7204 (fax)

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday
10:00 - 11:30 am
232 Irving II


University of Alaska Fairbanks
Ph.D. Biology

University of Kiel
M.S. Zoology


Curriculum Vitae



Selected Publications

* = student author

Book chapter

Horstmann, L. 2020. Anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system. In: J.C. George and J.G.M. Thewissen (eds.). The bowhead whale Balaena mysticetus: Biology and human interactions. Academic Press. ISBN: 9780128189696

Journal publications

Charapata,* P., L. Horstmann, and N. Misarti. In revision. Pacific walrus bones reveal changes in stress-related and reproductive steroid hormones over the last 3 millennia. Conservation Physiology.

Clark,* C.T., L. Horstmann, and N. Misarti. 2020. Evaluating tooth strontium and barium as indicators of weaning age in Pacific walruses. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

Clark,* C.T., L. Horstmann, and N. Misarti. 2020. Zinc concentrations in teeth of female walruses reflect the onset of reproductive maturity. Conservation Physiology 8(1): coaa029.

Karpovich, S., L.A. Horstmann, and L.K. Polasek. 2020. Validation of a novel method to create temporal records of hormone concentrations from the claws of ringed and bearded seals. Conservation Physiology 8(1): coaa073.

Ohlberger, J., D.E. Schindler, R.J. Brown, J.M.S. Harding, M.D. Adkison, A.R. Munro, L. Horstmann, and J. Spaeder. 2020. The reproductive value of large females: consequences of shifts in demographic structure for population reproductive potential in Chinook salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 77(8): 1292–1301.

Taylor,* N., C.T. Clark,* N. Misarti, and L. Horstmann. 2020. Determining sex of adult Pacific walruses from mandible measurements. Journal of Mammalogy 101(4): 941–950.



  • Fisheries Ecology
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Mammals


Research Overview

I am interested in broad-scale marine mammal ecology. Feeding ecology in particular is a keystone piece of information to understand adaptation potential of marine mammals and challenges that may arise. Dietary limitations can affect reproductive success, compromise immune function, change exposure to new pathogens (i.e., parasites, contaminants), and can therefore not only limit marine mammal population growth, but also potentially introduce new threats to humans depending on them as a subsistence resource.

I focus my research on Arctic marine mammals, because (1) they are of cultural and nutritional importance to subsistence users, (2) the Arctic is undergoing noticeable change, and (3) planned oil and gas development in this habitat.

I am also working on a fish parasite, Ichthyophonus hoferi, in Chinook salmon, and its potential impact on pre-spawning mortality and fecundity.


Current research projects

  • Evaluation of Chinook Salmon Mortality Factors in Alaska
  • WALRUS–Walrus Adaptability and Long-term Responses
  • Using multi-proxy data to project Sustainability
  • Freshwater growth and survival in AYK Chinook salmon: maternal influences, predation mortality, and the ultimate effects on stock productivity
  • Bowhead whale feeding in the western Beaufort Sea (BOWFEST)