My research interests include the behavior, ecology and conservation of cetaceans. I’m passionate about the use of novel technologies such as unmanned aerial systems and emerging acoustic tools to address questions in marine mammal science. For my master’s thesis, I will focus on assessing the abundance and demographics of Hawaiian spinner dolphins near Oʻahu’s Waʻianae coast in order to better understand threats to the population and inform conservation measures.
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Liah is a master's student in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. Hailing from the cozy beach town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, she began studying dolphins in 2009 with the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research, assisting in photo-identification efforts, and later, skin lesion analysis. Since 2017, Liah has worked in the Bahamas as a field assistant with the Wild Dolphin Project, contributing to their longitudinal study of free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphins. She received undergraduate degrees in Biology and Animal Behavior (interdisciplinary) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019, where she completed an honors thesis on the applications of unmanned aerial systems for measuring delphinid behavior. An avid freediver, photographer, and science communicator, Liah is always searching for opportunities to explore and protect marine environments.