Dr. Briana Abrahms

Research Scientist

Dr. Briana Abrahms is an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Biology, and holds the inaugural Boersma Endowed Chair of Natural History and Conservation. She earned a B.Sc. in Physics from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California-Berkeley. Prior to joining the UW, she was a Presidential Management Fellow with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate and Ecosystems Group.


Dr. Abrahms’ research brings a unique crossover between terrestrial and marine systems to the fields of behavioral and movement ecology and conservation biology. From marine mammals in the open ocean to large carnivores in the African savanna, her program encompasses studies around the globe to understand the effects of global change on wildlife ecology and conservation. Beyond basic research, Dr. Abrahms works closely with stakeholders, managers and policy-makers to conduct user-informed science and develop innovative tools for conservation. Her work has been integrated into landscape planning for carnivore conservation in southern Africa and policies to reduce large whale mortalities along the U.S. West Coast. She is an affiliate researcher with the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, and a member of the Southern California Blue Whale Ship Strike Working Group, the California Whale Entanglement/Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group, and the West Coast Gray Whale Unusual Mortality Event Working Group.

Her research has been published in top-ranked ecology and broad-audience journals, and has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and the BBC. See her Google Scholar profile for more information. She can be reached at abrahms [at] uw.edu.



 Selected publications: 

  • Michael J Noonan, Christen H Fleming, Marlee A Tucker, Roland Kays, Autumn‐Lynn Harrison, Margaret C Crofoot, Briana Abrahms, Susan C Alberts, Abdullahi H Ali, Jeanne Altmann, Pamela Castro Antunes, Nina Attias, Jerrold L Belant, Dean E Beyer Jr, Laura R Bidner, Niels Blaum, Randall B Boone, Damien Caillaud, Rogerio Cunha de Paula, J Antonio de la Torre, Jasja Dekker, Christopher S DePerno, Mohammad Farhadinia, Julian Fennessy, Claudia Fichtel, Christina Fischer, Adam Ford, Jacob R Goheen, Rasmus W Havmøller, Ben T Hirsch, Cindy Hurtado, Lynne A Isbell, René Janssen, Florian Jeltsch, Petra Kaczensky, Yayoi Kaneko, Peter Kappeler, Anjan Katna, Matthew Kauffman, Flavia Koch, Abhijeet Kulkarni, Scott LaPoint, Peter Leimgruber, David W Macdonald, A Catherine Markham, Laura McMahon, Katherine Mertes, Christopher E Moorman, Ronaldo G Morato, Alexander M Moßbrucker, Guilherme Mourão, David O’Connor, Luiz Gustavo R Oliveira‐Santos, Jennifer Pastorini, Bruce D Patterson, Janet Rachlow, Dustin H Ranglack, Neil Reid, David M Scantlebury, Dawn M Scott, Nuria Selva, Agnieszka Sergiel, Melissa Songer, Nucharin Songsasen, Jared A Stabach, Jenna Stacy‐Dawes, Morgan B Swingen, Jeffrey J Thompson, Wiebke Ullmann, Abi Tamim Vanak, Maria Thaker, John W Wilson, Koji Yamazaki, Richard W Yarnell, Filip Zieba, Tomasz Zwijacz‐Kozica, William F Fagan, Thomas Mueller, Justin M Calabrese. 2020. Effects of body size on estimation of mammalian area requirements. Conservation Biology
  • Briana Abrahms, Elliott L Hazen, Ellen Aikens, Matthew Savoca, Jeremy A Goldbogen, Steven J Bograd, Michael Jacox, Ladd M Irvine, Daniel M Palacios, Bruce R Mate. 2020. Blue whales and green waves: timing of predictable ecosystem hotspots shapes migration phenology. Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020
  • Arjun Pillai Hausner, Briana Abrahms, Jameal Samhouri, Elliott L Hazen. 2020. Optimizing Dynamic Ocean Management Strategies to Reduce Whale Ship Strikes. Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020
  • Jerome Fiechter, Briana Abrahms, Elliott L Hazen, Monique Messié. 2020. From Physics to Predators: Environmental Forcing of Marine Ecosystem Hot Spots I. Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020
  • B Abrahms, E.L. Hazen, E.O. Aikens, M.S. Savoca, J.A. Goldbogen, S.J. Bograd, M.G. Jacox, L.M. Irvine, D.M. Palacios, B.R. Mate. 2019. Memory and resource tracking drive blue whale migrations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI:10.1073/pnas.1819031116
  • Briana Abrahms, Heather Welch, Stephanie Brodie, Michael G Jacox, Elizabeth A Becker, Steven J Bograd, Ladd M Irvine, Daniel M Palacios, Bruce R Mate, Elliott L Hazen. 2019. Dynamic ensemble models to predict distributions and anthropogenic risk exposure for highly mobile species. Diversity and Distributions 25 (8):1182-1193
  • Elliott L Hazen, Briana Abrahms, Stephanie Brodie, Gemma Carroll, Michael G Jacox, Matthew S Savoca, Kylie L Scales, William J Sydeman, Steven J Bograd. 2019. Marine top predators as climate and ecosystem sentinels. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 17 (10):565-574
  • Mary Fisher, Stephanie Moore, Sunny Jardine, Briana Abrahms, Jameal Samhouri. 2019. Adaptative Response to an Ecological Perturbation in the Dungeness Crab Fishery. American Fisheries Society & The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference
  • Hannah Blondin, Briana Abrahms, Elliott Hazen. 2019. Assessing Patterns of Shipping Traffic to Inform Blue Whale Ship Strike Risk in the Channel Islands. American Fisheries Society & The Wildlife Society 2019 Joint Annual Conference
  • Briana Abrahms, Elliott L. Hazen, Steven J. Bograd, Justin S. Brashares, Patrick W. Robinson, Kylie L. Scales, Daniel E. Crocker, and Daniel P. Costa. 2018. Climate mediates the success of migration strategies in a marine predator. Ecology Letters 21: 63–71
  • Briana Abrahms, Kylie L. Scales, Elliott L. Hazen, Steven J. Bograd, Robert S. Schick, Patrick W. Robinson, Daniel P. Costa. 2018. Mesoscale activity facilitates energy gain in a top predator. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285 (1885)
  • Briana Abrahms, Kylie L Scales, Elliott L Hazen, Steven James Bograd, Robert Schick, Patrick Robinson, Daniel P Costa. 2018. Structurally complex ocean regions facilitate energy gain in a foraging top predator. 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting
  • Briana Abrahms, Stephanie Brodie, Elliott L Hazen, Isaac D Schroeder, Matthew Scott Savoca. 2018. From Physics to Predators: Understanding Bottom-Up Forcing of Pelagic Ecosystems I Posters. 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting
  • Oswald J Schmitz, Jennifer RB Miller, Anne M Trainor, Briana Abrahms. 2017. Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space. Ecology 98 (9):2281–2292
  • Briana Abrahms, Dana P. Seidel, Eric Dougherty, Elliott L. Hazen, Steven J. Bograd, Alan M. Wilson, J. Weldon McNutt, Daniel P. Costa, Stephen Blake, Justin S. Brashares, Wayne M. Getz. 2017. Suite of simple metrics reveals common movement syndromes across vertebrate taxa. Movement Ecology 5 (12):1-11
  • Briana Abrahms, Deanne DiPietro, Andrea Graffis, Allan Hollander. 2017. Managing biodiversity under climate change: challenges, frameworks, and tools for adaptation. Biodiversity and Conservation 26 (10): 2277-2293
  • S Fossette, B Abrahms, EL Hazen, SJ Bograd, KM Zilliacus, J Calambokidis, JA Burrows, JA Goldbogen, JT Harvey, B Marinovic, B Tershy, DA Croll. 2017. Resource partitioning facilitates coexistence in sympatric cetaceans in the California Current. Ecology and Evolution 7(21): 9085-9097
  • Briana Abrahms, Elliott L Hazen, Steven J Bograd, Justin S Brashares, Patrick W Robinson, Kylie L Scales, Daniel Crocker, Daniel P Costa. 2017. Climate mediates the costs and benefits of site fidelity in a migratory marine predator, the northern elephant seal. 2017 ESA Annual Meeting August 6–11
  • Briana Abrahms. 2017. Movement syndromes across vertebrate taxa (data from Abrahms et al. 2017)-reference-data.
  • Briana Abrahms, Sarah C Sawyer, Neil R Jordan, J Weldon McNutt, Alan M Wilson, Justin S Brashares. 2016. Does wildlife resource selection accurately inform corridor conservation? Journal of Applied Ecology 54 (2): 412–422
  • Briana AbrahmS. 2016. The Ecology and Conservation of Animal Movement in Changing Land- and Seascapes.
  • B Abrahms, NR Jordan, KA Golabek, JW McNutt, AM Wilson, JS Brashares. 2015. Lessons from integrating behaviour and resource selection: activity‐specific responses of African wild dogs to roads. Animal Conservation 19: 247–255
  • Justin S Brashares, Briana Abrahms, Kathryn J Fiorella, Christopher D Golden, Cheryl E Hojnowski, Ryan A Marsh, Douglas J McCauley, Tristan A Nunez, Katherine Seto, Lauren Withey. 2014. Wildlife Decline and Social Conflict. Science 345 (6195): 376-378
  • Lauren Withey, Katherine Seto, Douglas J McCauley, Kathryn J Fiorella, Ryan A Marsh, Briana Abrahms, Tristan A Nuñez, Christopher D Golden, Justin S Brashares. 2014. Fauna in decline—Response. Science 346: 819-820
  • Francis F Badavi, John W Wilson, Briana L Abrahms, Abigail Hunter. 2006. Numerical study of the generation of linear energy transfer spectra for space radiation applications. SAE Transactions 115: 335-344
  • Francis F Badavi, Katie J West, John E Nealy, John W Wilson, Briana Abrahms, Nathan J Luetke. 2006. A dynamic/anisotropic low Earth orbit (LEO) ionizing radiation model. NASA TP-2006-214533