Laura Ganley, Ph.D.

Associate Research Scientist II,
Spatial Ecology, Mapping, and Assessment (EcoMap)


Ph.D., Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, 2020

B.S., Zoology, University of New Hampshire, 2007


Laura Ganley, Ph.D., an associate research scientist in the Spatial Ecology and Mapping Program (EcoMap), has been studying large whales in the Gulf of Maine since 2005. She has extensive aerial survey experience, having flown right whale surveys in the southeast U.S. calving grounds and in the feeding grounds in Cape Cod Bay. Most recently she has flown surveys in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas directed at bowhead, gray, and beluga whales. Laura’s Ph.D. centered on estimating right whale abundance from aerial surveys and determining the environmental and biological mechanisms driving variations in abundance. In EcoMap, Laura is an observer on aerial surveys, and is interested in furthering our understanding of the impacts of climate change on whale distribution, assessing the risk of mortality to large whales from ship strikes, developing models to quantify the mechanisms driving abundance variations in the Wind Energy Area near Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and comparing Protected Species Observer data to aerial survey data.

  1. Select Publications

    Ganley, L.C. (2020). Identifying drivers of, and quantifying North Atlantic right whale local abundance. D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston.

    Ganley, L.C., Brault, S., Mayo, C.A. (2019).  What we see is not what there is: estimating North Atlantic right whale local abundance. Endangered Species Research 38:101-113.

    Accardo, C.M., Ganley L.C., Brown M.W., Duley P.A., George J.C., Reeves R.R., Heide-JørgensenM.P., Tynan C.T., Mayo C.A. (2018). Sightings of a Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the Gulf ofMaine and its Interactions with Other Baleen Whales. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 19:23-30.

    Mayo, C.A., Ganley, L., Hudak, C.A., Brault, S., Marx, M.K., Burke, E., and Brown, M.W. (2018).  Distribution, Demography, and Behavior of North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena glacialis) in CapeCod Bay, Massachusetts: 1998 – 2013. Marine Mammal Science.

    Ghosh, A., Robison, A., Chiapella, A., Bertolet, B., Selden, C., Perry, D., Reich, H., Oleksy, I., Isanta-Navarro, J., Aho, K., Ganley, L., Soares, L., Heffernan, L., Sasaki, M., Ray, N., Peleg, O., Thibodeau, P., Reis, P., Ramulifho, P., Maher, R., LaBrie, R., Speir, S. (2022). Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences An Effective Platform for Developing Professional Collaborations Among Early Career Aquatic Scientists. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin.

  2. Affiliations