Meet Lauren DeMaio, Lynker’s scientist for the Protected Resources Division within the National Marine Fisheries Service. Lauren serves the NOAA West Coast Regional Office from southern California nine months out of the year and in Seattle, Washington the other three months of the year. Her role includes working for the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP), where she coordinates rescues and emergency responses to sick, injured, distressed, or dead sea animals for Washington, Oregon, and California.
Lauren’s job also includes quality assurance of the data from stranding events and large whale entanglements throughout the West Coast. With the large amount of stranding occurrences on the West Coast the data can be of considerable size. The large whale entanglement data includes how, where, and what gear is involved in an entanglement and is essential for management and policy decisions. In addition to her love of understanding the data and fixing data nuisances, Lauren’s role is very essential in major conservation actions.
Lauren also enjoys getting out in the field and participating in stranding necropsies or assisting the NOAA science centers in Southern Resident Killer Whale research activities. Lauren recently published a paper titled “The Evaluation of Olfaction in Stranded California Sea Lions (Zalophus califorianus) and Its Relevance to Domoic Acid Toxicosis” in the journal Aquatic Mammals. Lauren’s hard work does not go unnoticed, and Lynker is so happy to have her on our team!