Alyson Fleming

Marine Ecology and Policy

I’m a research faculty in the Department of Biology & Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Associate Scientist in the Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin Madison. 


My primary research focuses on cetacean ecology and climate change biology. I’m interested in using top predators as indicators of their ecosystems, past and present. I use a combination of field work to study contemporary populations and museum collections to study historical populations. My research has ranged across the California Current, the Pacific Arctic, and the Southern Ocean and included stable isotope, hormone, and acoustic analyses. 


Policy Work

In addition to scientific research, I frequently work at the intersection of science and policy. My past work has included co-authoring a global review of humpback whales for their assessment under the Endangered Species Act, a synthesis of Arctic policy frameworks and priorities, and helping coordinate the Presidential Task Force on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. I have served as a member of US delegations at international fora including the International Whaling Commission and multiple Regional Fisheries Management Organization meetings. 




  • Committee Member (2021-) UN Decade of Ocean Science Early Career Ocean Professional JEDI Group