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Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment

PhD Students - Erin LaBrecque

Please note: Erin has left the "Marine Laboratory" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

Areas of Interest:

  • My research interests include the conservation and management of endangered and protected marine species, understanding the biological and physical processes that influence the distributions of upper trophic level marine predators, and spatial habitat modeling.


  • Masters of Environmental ManagementDuke University2006
    B.S. BiologyUniversity of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD1998


The focus of my Ph.D. research is to determine how frontal zones influence cetacean distributions at multiple spatial and temporal scales. My master's research investigated the spatial distributions of cetaceans and seabirds in relation to synoptic and dynamic oceanographic and static bathymetric variables. From this research, it was clear that assessing distribution patterns in conjunction with bathymetric and oceanographic variables alone did not provide a complete picture of these distributions; however, it has contributed valuable information about survey design and scale for the development of adaptive marine protected areas (MPA). My Ph.D. work will expand upon this research, will lead to the development of successful cetacean management plans, and add to the growing body of knowledge on adaptive MPA management.


Kayaking, photography, swimming, soccer, cycling - in general, playing outside.


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Contact Erin LaBrecque at:

DUML 135 Duke Marine Lab Road Beaufort, NC 28516
Phone: 252-504-7570
Fax: 252-504-7648