Alexandra McInturf

Postdoctoral Scholar
alexandra.mcinturf [at]

I am a Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES) fellow working with Taylor Chapple (OSU), David Huff (NOAA Fisheries), and other mentors and collaborators to determine the foraging ecology and ecosystem impact of salmon sharks in the Pacific. Specifically, I use a combination of stable isotope and stomach content analyses, population and species distribution models, and biologging to quantify the top-down influence of these apex predators on high-value fish stocks in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Prior to this position, I completed my PhD in Animal Behavior at the University of California, Davis. There I studied the effect of temperature on predation risk of salmon, and used spatial models to contextualize sevengill shark movement and basking shark distribution in and along the California coast.

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Alex has an English degree from Williams College.


Alex McInturf is a CICOES postdoctoral fellow in the Big Fish Lab. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, she attended Williams College for her undergraduate education. Following graduation, she was an intern with Oceans Research (South Africa) and the Bimini Shark Lab (Bahamas), where she studied white sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, and sandtiger sharks. She obtained her PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis, for which she examined physiology, behavior, and distribution of basking sharks, sevengill sharks, and salmon. In addition to research, Alex is an avid science communicator, soccer player, cyclist, weight lifter, reader, baker, and dog mom.

Alex’s interest in sharks began when she was very young, as family trips to Florida coincided with Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Raised in a landlocked state, she credits her initial fear of sharks and unfamiliarity with the ocean for prompting her exploration to better understand this environment. While in Ohio, she volunteered at the local Newport Aquarium (KY) and reading every book she could find on sharks, skates, and rays. During her time at William College (MA), she also enrolled in the Williams-Mystic Coastal and Ocean Studies program to learn a more interdisciplinary approach to studying the sea. She took a gap year following her college graduation to gain more hands-on, shark-focused research experience, traveling to South Africa and the Bahamas on student internships. During this time, she applied for