CFOS Students

picture of Amy Kirkham

Amy Kirkham

Ph.D. Student

Fisheries
3101 Science Cir
Anchorage, AK 99508
Education
Stanford University
B.S. Biology
2012
Certifications
A-312 Water Ditching and Survival
Thesis
Endocrine regulation of annual life history in female Weddell seals
Specialties
  • Wildlife endocrinology
  • Marine mammals
  • Polar biology
Current Research Projects
  • My PhD research examines how hormones regulate the seasonal biology of Antarctic Weddell seals. By characterizing hormone levels related to nutrition, stress, reproduction, and molt, I am learning what influences the timing and completion of different life history events in female seals. Understanding these linkages is vital to predicting how environmental changes may impact annual cycles and reproductive success. I am also testing how gene expression in Weddell seal skin drives hair growth and affects how hormones regulate molt. Recently, ice seals in Alaska have displayed disrupted molt, and I hope my research will aid efforts to understand this issue. My PhD work is part of a broader NSF-funded study based at UAA on the over-summer physiology and behavior of female Weddell seals.
Awards / Honors
  • Knauss Fellowship Finalist 2019
  • Alvaro Osório de Almeida Award by SBFis, 2nd Place student presentation at the International Union of Physiological Sciences World Congress August 2017
  • INBRE Graduate Research Assistantships 2014, 2015, 2017
Affiliations
  • American Physiological Society
  • Society for Marine Mammalogy, Alaska Student Chapter
  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists
Community Service
  • Life Alaska Donor Services volunteer
  • K-12 science outreach in Anchorage School District
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