Graduate student spotlight: Lindsey Stadler

headshot of a woman
Photo by Brian Ulaski
Lindsey Stadler collects samples from the short along Kachemak Bay.

Jan. 12, 2022

The ocean has always fascinated Lindsey Stadler, an M.S. marine biology student. She has wanted to study the subject ever since she was a little kid.

Stadler researches the food web ecology of nearshore fishes along a gradient of glacially influenced watersheds. 

"I want to know how these important ecosystems will be affected by a changing climate,” she said. “I'm focusing on high latitude systems, which have been experiencing increasing temperatures, variability in precipitation trends, and melting glaciers. My study will hopefully provide insight into how nearshore systems will fare in different conditions as well as how to protect them in the long term."

Stadler chose to come to Alaska, and UAF in particular, because it seemed like an excellent opportunity to expand her experiences in the field of marine biology. 

"What truly brought me here, though, was my advisor, Dr. Katrin Iken,” she said. “She specializes in food web analysis and stable isotope ecology, which are key aspects in my project. I knew I wanted to work with her after having a zoom conversation about potentially joining the lab that left me feeling like all of it was a great fit. It really was."

Stadler moved to Fairbanks from Long Island, New York, in 2020. She found the transition to living there during the pandemic difficult. Over time, she made connections both professional and personal that were deeper and stronger than she could have imagined. 

Last year the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences hosted a Three-Minute Thesis competition for their graduate students. Stadler won the first place prize by presenting her thesis topic, “Food Web Ecology of Nearshore Fishes Along a Gradient of Glacially Influenced Watersheds.”

She has some advice for incoming students. 

"Make time to read up on subjects that relate to your field of study. Talk to colleagues about what you learn, and don't be afraid to ask questions. We're all figuring out how to be better researchers in an ever-changing world, and having discussions involving critical thinking is invaluable. Don't forget to take care of yourself! Recharging in whatever form that works for you is important in avoiding burnout."

After completing her master's degree, Stadler plans to pursue a Ph.D. to continue in her field of study.

To learn more about graduate programs at UAF, email Felicia Burud, Graduate School coordinator, at, or visit the Graduate School website.