Justin Priest

Justin Priest

M.S. Student





Modeling environmental effects upon community assemblages of nearshore fishes in the Beaufort Sea 






Growing up in a rural part of the Kenai Peninsula, salmon fishing was for recreation, providing food for the family, and for feeding the sled dogs. After graduating from UAF, I worked as a fisheries biologist in environmental consulting. These experiences allowed me to work at the intersection of some of the most important fisheries in Alaska, helping conserve not only our state's resources but also our shared heritage. My career and personal hobbies have taken me across Alaska to fish. I've commercial-fished in Bristol Bay, chased sockeye on the Kenai, coordinated benthic trawls in the Chukchi Sea, trolled for Chinook out of Sitka, and sampled whitefish on the North Slope. Most recently, I have been working on my master's degree with Dr. Trent Sutton, studying how environmental changes are affecting fish communities near Prudhoe Bay.



  • Modeling environmental effects on fish populations
  • Statistical analysis using R, RMarkdown, Shiny, and GitHub
  • Smolt outmigration population abundance estimates
  • Upward-looking and imaging sonar


Current research projects

  • Nearshore fishes in the Beaufort Sea


Community Service

  • American Fisheries Society Alaska Chapter—Student Representative to the Executive Committee



  • LGL Alaska Research
  • Bristol Bay Science and Research Institute