Lia Domke

Lia Domke


Ph.D. Student


College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
17101 Point Lena Loop Road
Juneau, Alaska 99801


Dalhousie University
Marine Biology and International Development Studies



The role of habitat and seascape complexity on nearshore fish assemblages and juvenile salmon in Southeast Alaska.





I was raised playing in Southeast Alaska’s intertidal and that ultimately informed my decision to study marine biology and international development studies at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Throughout my education, through coursework, volunteer work and employment, I have pursued diverse interests including studying deep sea submarine canyons, snail physiology, and anadromous fish habitat. My graduate work is a logical progression of my career, delving into another fascinating ecosystem while growing into the scientist, mentor, and educator I aspire to be.



Domke L., Lacharité M., Metaxas A., Matabos M. (2017). "Influence of oxygen minimum zones and macroalgal enrichment on benthic megafaunal community composition in a NE Pacific submarine canyon". Marine Ecology, 38(6). doi:


Research Overview

Seagrass meadows and kelp forests are nearshore habitats that are vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts, but serve as critical refuges, habitats, and food sources to various species, including fishes. These habitats are important sources of primary and secondary production and, in Alaska, are relatively understudied. Fish assemblages within nearshore habitats can vary with the season, ontogenetic changes, and habitat quality. My PhD work investigates the role of habitat and seascape complexity on nearshore fish assemblages through several objectives. 1) Exploring potential drivers of juvenile salmon across eelgrass meadows along the western coast of Prince of Wales to try to understand the role of habitat in the early marine phase of juvenile salmon. 2) Leveraging historical beach seine data to understand temporal and between year variability in nearshore fish community composition, diversity, and abundance in southern Southeast Alaska. 3) Considering the importance of nearshore seascape connectivity and complexity between nearshore habitats, in understanding the diversity and richness of fish assemblages. These coastal zones are critical for commercially and ecologically important fish species and understanding what drives the variability in these communities, particularly in Southeast Alaska, is vital information for coastal spatial planning, individual species management and ecosystem-based fisheries management.


Current research projects



  • PADI Open Water Certification 2011
  • AAUS Scientific Diver 2019
  • FAA Part 107 Certified Commercial Pilot 2020


Awards / Honors

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2019
  • AFS CFOS Student Symposium Best Short Talk 2019


Community Service

  • AFS CFOS Student Symposium co-coordinator 2020-2022
  • Fisheries Student Representative, Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Student Association