Dr Kate Stafford, Senior Oceanographer


Applied Physics Lab and School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98105, USA

Contact Details

Phone: 1-206-685-8617
Fax: 1-206-543-6785
email: kate2@uw.edu
Personal webpage

Research Interests

My research focuses on the use of acoustic methods to study the ecology and phenology of large whales around the globe. I have used acoustic methods to study blue whale populations world-wide; my dissertation examined the geographic and seasonal variation and occurrence of blue whales in the North Pacific using passive acoustic methods. Most recently, my work has been focused on the Arctic in order to determine how climate change is influencing the occurrence of both Arctic endemic and sub-Arctic species and how the underwater soundscape is changing on biological, natural and anthropogenic fronts. The tools developed for the Arctic are readily ported to the Antarctic. My interest in the IWC-SORP Acoustic Trends Steering Group (ATG) arises from my early work on blue whales and the desire to use acoustic data to better understand the current distribution of both blue and fin whales in the Southern Hemisphere. The combined expertise of the ATG allows for the development of tools to efficiently and robustly analyse many terabytes of data to form a more complete understanding of the acoustic ecology of the Southern Ocean. Further, the ATG provides an unprecedented venue for training, and entraining, researchers from Southern Hemisphere countries in the use of passive acoustic methodologies to better understand the power of such methods in answering ecological questions.

Selected publications

Shabangu FW, Yemane D, Stafford KM , Ensor P, Findlay KP (2017) Modelling the effects of environmental conditions on the acoustic occurrence and behaviour of Antarctic blue whales (G Pavan, Ed.). PLoS ONE 12:e0172705

Stafford KM (2016) A review of blue whale studies from HARUphones in thePacific Chapter 2 in Au WW and Lammers M, eds, Listening within the Ocean. Springer-Verlag.

Stafford KM, Chapp E, Bohnenstiel DR, Tolstoy M (2011) Seasonal detection of three types of “pygmy” blue whale calls in the Indian Ocean. Marine Mammal Science. 27:828-840. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2010.00437.x

Stafford KM, Citta, JJ, Moore, SE, Daher MA, George J (2009) Environmental correlates of blue and fin whale call detections in the North Pacific Ocean, 1997-2002. Marine Ecology Progress Series 395: 37-53.

Stafford KM, Mellinger DK, Moore SE, Fox CG (2007) Seasonal variability and detection range modeling of baleen whale calls in the Gulf of Alaska, 1999–2002. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 122: 3378-3391.

Stafford KM, Moore SE (2005) Atypical calling by a blue whale in the Gulf of Alaska. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 117(5): 2724-2727.

Stafford KM, Moore SE, Fox CG (2005) Diel variation in blue whale calls recorded in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Animal Behaviour 69: 951–958.

Stafford KM, Bohnenstiel D, Tolstoy M, Chapp E, Mellinger DK, Moore SE (2004) Antarctic-type blue whale calls recorded at low latitudes in two oceans. Deep-Sea Research I 51(10): 1337–1346.

Stafford KM, Nieukirk SL, Fox CG (2001) Geographic and seasonal variation of blue whale calls in the North Pacific. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 3:65–76.

Stafford KM, Nieukirk SL, Fox CG (1999) An acoustic link between blue whales in the northeast Pacific and the eastern tropical Pacific. Marine Mammal Science 15: 1258-1268.

This page was last updated on 18 February 2022