Logan J. Pallin | Ph.D. Student

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology UC Santa Cruz  


  • B.S. Environmental Science, Graduation with Distinction, Certificate: Marine Science and Conservation Leadership, Duke University, 2010-2014
  • M.S. Wildlife Science, Oregon State University, 2015-2017
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP) 2016-Current
  • Ph. D. Student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2017-Current

My areas of interest pertain to the conservation and population biology of marine megafauna, particularly cetaceans. More specifically, I am interested in using both genetic and endocrinological techniques to assess population demographics and how these demographics respond at both the individual and population level due to both natural and unnatural forcings within their environment. Populations of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere are recovering after intense commercial whaling during the last century. Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) this recovery is occurring in an environment that is experiencing the fastest warming of any region on the planet. For my Ph.D. research, I hope to assess vital demographic parameters such as growth, pregnancy, and calving rates, across both the WAP population of humpbacks and compare this to other populations within the Southern Hemisphere. Lastly, once these demographics are established I hope to develop a current estimate of abundance for the WAP population and assess the impacts of climatic change on the recovery of this population.  My current work is part of the NSF Long Term Ecological Research Program at Palmer Station Antarctica. More information on this project can be found here: http://pal.lternet.edu.


Ph.D. Student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow under the advisement of Drs. Dan Costa and Ari Friedlaender at the University of California Santa Cruz.


  • 2017-American Cetacean Society-San Francisco Chapter Research Grant
  • 2016-National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  • 2015-Provosts’ Distinguished Graduate Scholarship, Oregon State University
  • 2014-Duke Environmental Science Department Graduation with Distinction
  • 2013- Minnesota Department of Education Indian Education Association: Recognized as top post-secondary student
  • 2010-Minnesota Academy of Science Scholar of Distinction
  • Research Technician: It’snot what you might think –DNA profiling from SnotBot samples of whale blows. Cetacean Conservation and Genetics Lab, Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University, June-September, 2017.
  • Research Technician: Progesterone (P4) hormone analysis in humpback and minke whale blubber as an identifier for pregnancy status. Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2014-2015.
  • Research Technician: Hierarchical modeling with environmental covariates: Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles, Spatial Density Modeling using Two Survey Interfaces (Boat and Aerial). Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2014-2015.
  • Lab Technician: Sex ratios and pregnancy rates of humpback whales along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2012–2015.
  • Lab Technician: Prey DNA analysis from crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophagus) fecal samples. Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2015.
  • Field/Lab Technician: Ecology and distribution of pelagic cetaceans of Cape Hatteras, NC. Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 2013–2015.
  • Field Volunteer: North Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Network. 2014–2015.
  • Field/Lab Technician: Life history analysis of Platygyra synensis (brain coral) in Pioneer Bay, Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. James Cook University, Townsville, 2013.
  • Field Technician: Interactions of mangroves and coral reefs in Bocas del Toro Panama. Duke University Marine Laboratory, Field Intern 2012.
  • Field/Lab REU Intern: Understanding Changes in a Major Estuary-Salmon Habitat Opportunity in the Columbia River. Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction (CMOP), Oregon Health and Science University, 2012.
  • Field Experience and training: Cetacean off shore surveys, photo identification, biopsy sampling and tagging, R.V. Cape Hatteras and R.V. Richard Barber, Marine Conservation Ecology Lab, Duke University Marine Laboratory.



Pallin L, Robbins J, Kellar N, Bérubé M, Friedlaender A (2018) Validation of a blubber-based endocrine pregnancy test for humpback whales. Conserv Physiol 6(1): coy031; https://doi.org/10.1093/conphys/coy031

Pallin LJ, Baker CS, Steel D, Kellar NM, Robbins J, Johnston DW, Nowacek DP, Read AJ, Friedlaender AS. 2018 High pregnancy rates in humpback whales(Megaptera novaeangliae) around the Western Antarctic Peninsula, evidence of a rapidly growing population. R. Soc. open sci. 5: 180017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180017

Riekkola, L., Zerbini, A. N., Andrews, O., Andrews-Goff, V., Baker, C. S., Chandler, D., Childerhouse, S., Clapham, P., Dodémont, R., Donnelly, D., Friedlaender, A., Gallego, R., Garrigue, C., Ivashchenko, Y., Jarman, S., Lindsay, R., Pallin, L., Robbins, J., Steel, D., Tremlett, J., Vindenes, S., & Constantine, R. (2018). Application of a multi-disciplinary approach to reveal population structure and Southern Ocean feeding grounds of humpback whales. Ecological Indicators, 89, 455-465. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.02.030

Reports, Books, Theses:

Pallin, Logan. (May 2017). Temporal Variation in Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Demographics Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. (Master’s Thesis). Available from Oregon State University Scholars Archive (Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/61621)

Ari S. Friedlaender, Susan G. Heaslip, David W. Johnston, Andy Read, Doug Nowacek, John W. Durban, Robert L. Pitman, Logan Pallin, Jeremy Goldbogen, and Nick Gales. Comparison of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Antarctic minke (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) movements in the Western Antarctic Peninsula using state-space modelling methods. Report to the IWC SC/66b/em. Bled, Slovenia May 2016.

Griffith, R., H. Wilson, A. Goldman, L. Pallin, L. Wiley and D. W. Johnston. The View from Below: An introductory handbook into marine conservation. iBook, Marine Conservation Ecology Group at Duke University Marine Laboratory. May 1, 2013.

Databases and Educational Materials:

"When whale I sea you again?" Online data nugget (2017). (http://datanuggets.org/2017/11/when-whale-i-sea-you-again/). Platform built to advance the discovery and understanding of science by providing hands on participation, teaching, training, and learning of both teachers and k-12 students with authentic and novel Antarctic science data

Antarctic Wildbook Database. (http://antarctic.wildbook.org/). Promoting citizen science and education of our Antarctic research through an online platform.

Contact Information

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Coastal Biology Building 169
130 McAllister Way
University of California, Santa Cruz
email: lpallin@ucsc.edu