Elizabeth Mik'aq Lindley

Elizabeth Mik'aq Lindley

M.S. Student


Anchorage, Alaska


University of Alaska Fairbanks
B.S. Fisheries



Pacific salmon in a rapidly changing Arctic: Is colonization constrained by minimum thermal thresholds during early life history?





Elizabeth also goes by her Yup'ik name Mik'aq or Mik'. She was born and raised in Bethel, Alaska, on the Kuskokwim River.

Research Overview

Elizabeth is studying Pacific salmon in the Arctic and the potentials for colonization of freshwater systems. The occurrence of salmon in the Arctic is becoming increasingly novel in both geographic extent and species encountered, which has raised questions concerning their presence and the ecological consequences of potential establishment. Through collaboration with the Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowledge Hub at the International Arctic Research Center, Elizabeth is synthesizing these known changes in salmon numbers, species, and sites of occurrence across the Alaskan Arctic through community-based observations and fisher surveys, which will be complemented by the analysis of other peer-reviewed and grey literature. Additionally, Elizabeth is seeking to understand the thermal potentials for colonization by addressing two questions about the highly sensitive and immobile egg stage of chum, pink, and sockeye salmon. First, is colonization constrained by specific thermal thresholds for successful embryonic development? Second, does the delivery of Arctic stream temperatures facilitate developmental phenology that would allow for achievement of hatching and emergence to align with environmental conditions? Through collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Elizabeth is conducting a common-garden experiment addressing these questions using temperatures collected from stream sites in the Canadian northwest Arctic that are well poised for colonization.


Awards / Honors

  • Tamamta Fellowship 2021
  • Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership Fellow 2020



  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • International Arctic Research Center
  • The Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowledge Hub
  • Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program