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Julia Parrish

Professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington

Julia Parrish

Julia K Parrish is a Professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she also serves as the Director of the Program on the Environment – an undergraduate environmental studies unit – and as the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) – a citizen science project linking hundreds of coastal residents to the health of the nearshore marine environment.

Julia’s areas of expertise include seabird biology, animal aggregation, and marine conservation issues surrounding fisheries. Her current research is focused on the common murre, a ubiquitous fish-eating seabird of the coastal marine environment. Julia has worked to decipher the forces affecting murre population health, including changes in forage fish availability, the effect of increasing predator populations, transitions in climate, habitat availability, fishery bycatch, and the impact of oil spills.

Her research on seabirds led her to start COASST, where coastal residents are training to collect rigorous scientific data on the identity and condition of beachcast carcasses, by surveying local beaches in a standardized manner on a monthly basis. Julia has been honored as a NOAA Environmental Hero (1998), has received the Seattle Aquarium Foundation research and conservation award (2008), and been nominated for the National Marine Sanctuary Volunteer of the Year (2006) for her citizen science work.