Current Lab Members


MartiniMartini Arostegui (MS)

Martini received his B.S. in biology, with a specialization in marine biology, from Stanford University in 2014 where he studied the influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on the migrations and vertical movements of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the equatorial Pacific south of Hawaii. He is interested in the ecology, behavior, life history, physiology, and diversity of all fish species in both marine and aquatic systems. As a M.S. student at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Martini is focused on studying rainbow trout ecotypes in southwest Alaska, Salish Sea resident chinook salmon migration patterns and depth distributions, and other aspects of Pacific Northwest fish ecology. He is an avid angler and pursues his passion for fish both in his work and his recreation.   Select publications:

  • Arostegui, M. C., J. M. Smith, A. N. Kagley, D. Spilsbury-Pucci, K. L. Fresh, and T. P. Quinn. 2017. Spatially clustered movement patterns and segregation of sub-adult Chinook salmon within the Salish Sea. Marine and Coastal Fisheries 9: 1-12.
  • Arostegui, M. C., T. E. Essington, and T. P. Quinn. 2017. Interpreting vertical movement behavior with holistic examination of depth distribution: a novel method reveals cryptic diel activity patterns of Chinook salmon in the Salish Sea. Animal Biotelemetry 5:2.
  • Carlise, A. B., R. E. Kochevar, M. C. Arostegui, J. E. Ganong, M. Castleton, J. Schratwieser, and B. A. Block. 2017. Influence of temperature and oxygen on the distribution of blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Central Pacific. Fisheries Oceanography 26: 34-48.

CatherineCatherine Austin (MS)

Catherine has worked and played among the peaks of the North Cascade Mountains all her life, but did not realize that rivers and fish were fascinating until taking a spawning ground survey job with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. A former trail crew supervisor for the Forest Service, with Guatemalan connections and volunteer EMT work in the background, she is now studying the highly variable life history of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in the Skagit River Basin.  




HovelRachel Hovel
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Rachel’s website

Rachel is broadly interested in the processes of community ecology in freshwater systems and the ways in which organisms cope with habitats that vary in time and space. Her dissertation research focused on fish communities in large coastal lake systems, and explored how diversity among and within species affect their interactions in variable environments. Current projects include work in the Wood River lakes of Bristol Bay, Alaska, where shifts in community composition and the expression of life history events are explained with climate change signals over a five decade time series. Other research, in Lake Washington, seeks to determine how phenological diversity helps buffer against seasonal variability in resources, and how species interactions can shape foraging behavior in a pelagic food web. For more information about Rachel’s research and teaching, see her website.  

Chris_JohnsonChris Johnson (MS)

Chris received his BA in biology from Central Washington University in 2002, and currently works as a fisheries biologist within WDFW’s Science Division; where his research focuses on density dependence, and environmental factors potentially influencing juvenile salmon growth, abundance, and survival. Chris’ past research covers a variety of topics, including nutrient addition, impacts of entry error to data quality, and development of a standardized methodology for evaluation of salmonid egg-to-fry survival over large spatial scales. Chris is currently working to better understand parental and environmental effects to salmonid pre and post-emergence development and survival. Select publications:

  • Roni, P., C. Johnson, T. De Boer, G. Pess, and D. Sear. In press. Interannaul variability in the effects of physical habitat and parentage on Chinook salmon egg-to-fry survival. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
  • Johnson, C. L., P. Roni, and G. R. Pess. 2012. Parental effect as a primary factor limiting egg-to-fry survival of spring Chinook salmon in the upper Yakima River Basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 141(5):1295-1309.
  • Johnson, C. L., G. M. Temple, T. N. Pearsons, and T. D. Webster. 2009. An evaluation of data entry error and proofing methods for fisheries data. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138(3):593-601.
  • Johnson, C. L., P. Roni, A. Murdoch, M. Hughes, and T. De Boer. In prep. Environmental and parental influences to Spring Chinook incubation survival and development in the Chiwawa River, Washington State.

Alex Lincoln (MS)

Alex received her B.A. in biology from Pomona College in 2014. Her broad research interests involve the ecology and conservation of freshwater ecosystems, as well as how humans play a role in ecological change. While at the University of Washington, she plans to study the ecology of brown bear predation on sockeye salmon in southwestern Alaska and its impacts on the ecosystem, and how dam removal on the Elwha River has influenced trout and steelhead in the Elwha estuary.  




McElroyKatie McElroy (PhD)

Katie received her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2014. She continued her education at UCSC and received her Master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2016. During her Master’s, she studied juvenile Chinook salmon habitat use on the San Joaquin River. She worked with Cramer Fish Sciences to advise the San Joaquin River Restoration Program on strategies for habitat restoration. After falling in love with Alaska during a summer working as an aquarist intern at the Alaska SeaLife Center, she decided to join the Alaska Salmon Program at UW. She is broadly interested in the interfaces of ecology and evolution and fisheries management and conservation. She plans to explore how selective forces interact with each other and the environment to influence sockeye salmon population dynamics and ecology in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Co-supervised by Tom Quinn and Ray Hilborn.

SmithJoseph Smith
Post-doctoral Research Associate
Joseph’s website

Joe completed his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2012.  His research focuses on the causes and consequences of fish movement.  He has used telemetry to study the ecology of alewife, striped bass, largemouth bass, blue catfish, channel catfish, white catfish, and Pacific salmon.  Other research interests include determining how natural and human factors influence fish populations and assemblages. His current post-doctoral work includes projects in California examining the predation of salmon smolts by non-native fish predators in the San Joaquin River Delta, and in Washington examining the distribution and movement of Pacific salmon in Puget Sound. Select publications:

  • Smith, J. M., K. L. Fresh, A. N. Kagley, T. P. Quinn. 2015. Ultrasonic telemetry reveals seasonal variation in depth distribution and diel vertical migrations of sub-adult Chinook and Coho salmon in Puget Sound. Marine Ecology Progress Series 532:227-242.
  • Smith, J. M., S. Wells, M. E. Mather, R. Muth. 2014. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24:338-350.
  • Smith, J. M. and M. E. Mather. 2013. Beaver dams maintain fish biodiversity by increasing habitat heterogeneity throughout a low-gradient stream network. Freshwater Biology 58:1523-1538.
  • Smith, J. M. and M. E. Mather. 2012. Using assemblage data in ecological indicators: A comparison and evaluation of commonly available statistical tools. Ecological Indicators 13:253-262.

MikeTillotson Mike Tillotson (PhD)

Mike was born in Seattle and during a childhood spent salmon fishing from Puget Sound beaches he developed a profound interest in salmon and their peculiar life history. While obtaining his bachelor of arts in environmental studies and anthropology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, it was the study of local, depleted Atlantic salmon runs and working in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery during the summer that helped  him to develop an appreciation of the interconnectedness of human and ecological systems. After working in environmental consulting for two years Mike studied marine social-ecological systems at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where he received his M.M.A in 2013. As a doctoral student at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Mike continues to allow his passion for understanding, protecting and catching salmon to  guide his studies. His interdisciplinary research explores the relationships between climate change, marine and aquatic ecosystems, salmon and the people who depend on them.  


Jon’s reasearch explores the movement patterns of coastal cutthroat trout in Puget Sound. He is interested in interactions with other salmonid species and environmental factors as drivers of their movements. Jon is also a staff member at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, while while he pursues an M.S. degree in the Quinn Lab.