Dr. Sue E. Moore

Research Scientist
Center for Ecosystem Sentinels, Biology Department, University of Washington



Dr. Sue Moore is a research scientist and Affiliate Professor at the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels in the Biology Department of the University of Washington. She has 40 years of research experience focused on the ecology, bioacoustics, and natural history of whales and dolphins, with most of her work directed toward cetaceans in the Pacific Arctic region. Sue holds a BA in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, a MS in Biology from San Diego State University, and a PhD in Biological Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with a dissertation entitled Cetacean Habitats in the Alaskan Arctic.
Sue worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for 20 years, where she served as the Director of the NOAA National Marine Mammal Laboratory and as a Senior Scientist for the NOAA Fisheries Science & Technology Marine Division. From 2008-2012, Sue served as Chair of the Environmental Concerns Working Group of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee, and contributed to IWC scientific meetings and workshops from 1987-2017. In 2021, Sue provided an alert regarding vessel strike risk to baleen whales in the Bering Strait region, posted on the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group website and followed up with a short video on the topic in 2022. She currently serves as a Science Advisor to the U. S. Marine Mammal Commission, the NOAA Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Event (UME) Working Group, and the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Recent Recognition:

In May 2019, an UME was declared for the northeast Pacific population of gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus), which migrate annually between the Alaskan Arctic and Baja California, Mexico. Given Sue’s experience of an earlier gray whale UME, she has undertaken the role of Investigation Team Leader for ecosystem and oceanographic aspects of the current event.

In July 2019, the National Science Foundation awarded a 5-year research grant to continue the work of the Distributed Biological Observatory, a multidisciplinary and international ocean observatory to which Sue has contributed expertise as a Co-Principal Investigator since 2009 (Moore and Grebmeier 2018). Sue has authored/co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications. A sampling of recent papers are listed below.

In March 2020, Sue was honored to receive the IASC Medal in recognition of her Outstanding Achievement in Understanding Marine Mammals as Ecosystem Sentinels and How Climate Change is Influencing the Phenology of Arctic Species. IASC Medals are given for exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic, with only one award made each year.

In July 2020, Sue was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in recognition of her outstanding record of scientific achievements and contributions to the understanding of Arctic marine ecosystems and pioneering the integration of Conventional Science (CS) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) to yield better conservation and management decisions.

Recent Publications:

Moore, S.E., J.T. Clarke, S.R. Okkonen, J.M. Grebmeier, C.L. Berchok, K.M. Stafford. 2022. Changes in gray whale phenology and distribution related to prey variability and ocean biophysics in the northern Bering and eastern Chukchi seas. PLoS ONE. OPEN ACCESS

Gulland, F.M.D., J.D. Baker, M. Howe, E. LaBrecque, L. Leach, S.E. Moore, R.R. Reeves, P.O. Thomas. 2022. A review of climate change effects on marine mammals in United States waters: Past predictions, observed impacts, current research and conservation imperatives. Climate Change Ecology 3, 100054. OPEN ACCESS

Stafford, K.M., H. Melling, S.E. Moore, C.L. Berchok. E.K. Braen, A.M. Brewer, B.M. Kimber. 2022. Marine mammal detections on the Chukchi Plateau 2009-2020. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 151(4): 2521-2529.

Moore, S. E., J. C. George, R. R. Reeves. 2021. Bowhead whale ecology in changing high-latitude ecosystems. In: George, J.C. and J. G. M. Thewissen, Eds. The Bowhead Whale, Balaena mysticetus, Biology and Human Interactions. Academic Press.

Ahonen, H., K.M. Stafford, C. Lyderson, C.L. Berchok, S.E. Moore and K.M. Kovacs. 2021. Interannual variability in acoustic detection of blue and fin whale calls in the Northeast Atlantic High Arctic between 2008 and 2019. Endangered Species Research 45: 209-224.

George, J.C., S.E. Moore J.G.M. Thewissen. 2020. Bowhead whales: recent insights into their biology, status and resilience. Arctic Report Card 2020, R. L. Thoman, J. Richter-Menge, and M. L. Druckenmiller, Eds.

Moore, S.E. and D.D.W. Hauser. 2019. Marine mammals as indicators of Arctic ecosystem variability: finding common ground between Conventional Science and Indigenous Knowledge. Environmental Research Letters 14. OPEN ACCESS

Moore, S.E. and K.J. Kuletz. 2019. Marine birds and mammals as ecosystem sentinels in and near Distributed Biological Observatory regions: an abbreviated review of published accounts. Deep-Sea Research II, DBO Special Issue 162: 211-217.

Moore, S.E., T. Haug, G.A. Vikingsson, G.B. Stenson. 2019. Baleen whale ecology in Arctic and Subarctic Seas in an era of rapid habitat alteration. Progress in Oceanography 176: 102-118.

Moore, S.E. and R.R. Reeves. 2018. Tracking arctic marine mammal resilience in an era of rapid ecosystem alteration. PLOS Biology 16(10). 

Moore, S.E., P.J. Stabeno, T.I. Van Pelt. 2018. The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Project Deep-Sea Research II,

Moore, S.E., P.J. Stabeno, J.M. Grebmeier, S. Okkonen. 2018. The Arctic Marine Pulses (AMP) Model: linking temporal processes to contiguous ecological domains in the Pacific Arctic. Deep-Sea Research II