I am generally concerned with making the world a better place (yes) through shared learning, empathy, & understanding systems.

I primarily work in conservation, mainly in the coastal realm – usually related to small-scale fisheries. This makes sense, because I get easily seasick and I am a vegetarian. I used to stalk dolphins, but now I mainly interview, teach, & communicate with humans, because conservation is a human process. My work strives to support more effective, equitable, & ethical planning, implementation, and evaluation of conservation projects.

I am also the primary communication support person for my brother Danny Whitty, a nonspeaking autistic writer & advocate. We work to build community, raise awareness, & develop innovative learning programs for adult nonspeakers. I am in training to be an S2C Practitioner.

Also, I love writing. I hope to do more of it professionally.


Based in San Diego

Irish-Japanese (immigrated from Japan as a wee one)

Research experience includes following zebras, staring at monkeys, searching for marine mammals, and a whole lot (1000s) of interviews

Marine mammal bycatch = gateway to becoming an interdisciplinary researcher

Proud member of the Southeast Asia Marine Mammal research family

Big fan of qualitative data, design thinking, systems thinking, mindfulness

Disillusioned by academia & disenchanted with the peer-reviewed journal industry (no longer agreeing to review for journals)

Language enthusiast & curious traveler

Astoundingly intermediate surfer

President & Consultant: Keiruna Inc.

Engagement & Social-Ecological Expert

Community Engagement Director
Pact Media


Gulf of Mottama International Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature

NSF SEES Postdoctoral Fellow & Conservation Assessment Scholar: Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

PhD, MSc: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD; Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

B.A.: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, + Environmental Studies Certificate, Princeton University