Ed Connor

Kathryn Sobocinski

Overview and Professional Qualifications

Dr. Kathryn Sobocinski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and the Marine and Coastal Science program at Western Washington University. She is an applied marine ecologist focusing on fishes, fish habitats, and impacts of human disturbance and climate change in coastal ecosystems. She uses statistical, ecological, and individual-based models in conjunction with field data to describe patterns and processes in these ecosystems.

Dr. Sobocinski’s work has largely focused on juvenile fishes in coastal marine environments and has included food web ecology, identifying characteristics of nursery habitats, fisheries oceanography, describing patterns of distribution based on environmental factors, ecosystem modeling related to rising temperatures in shallow-water ecosystems, and socio-environmental systems research.

Currently, Dr. Sobocinski works on several projects within the Salish Sea, including investigations of herring egg predation and the trophic and water quality impacts of large jellyfish aggregations. She has developed ecosystem indicators related to salmon marine survival. She is the lead scientist/author for the State of the Salish Sea report coordinated by the Salish Sea Institute at WWU.

Prior to her current position, Dr. Sobocinski held post-doctoral research positions at NOAA-NWFSC in cooperation with Long Live the Kings and Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and was a research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Coastal Assessment and Restoration group.


Research Interests


  • Connectivity between delta and estuary habitats
  • Climate change impacts to fishes and invertebrates in the delta and estuary
  • Restoration of coastal wetlands with respect to estuarine fauna


  • Juvenile fishes in marine ecosystems
  • Changing environmental conditions and impacts of human disturbance on fish distribution and abundance and habitats in coastal ecosystems
  • Use of ecosystem and statistical models in fish ecology


Education and Credentials

Ph.D., Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary, 2014

M.S., Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 2003

B.A., Environmental Science, Connecticut College, 1998


Affiliations and Professional Service

Member, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation

Member, American Fisheries Society

Member, American Association of Underwater Scientists


Contact Information

Dr. Kathryn L. Sobocinski

Department of Environmental Sciences

Marine and Coastal Science

Western Washington University

516 High Street, MS-9181

Bellingham, WA 98225

Tel: (360) 650‑3986

Email: kathryn.sobocinski@wwu.edu

Additional Information

For additional information on Kathryn Sobocinski and her research, visit her website: https://huxley.wwu.edu/people/sobocik