PhD student, Fish & Wildlife Biology
Michelle Kissling was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she attended rock concerts, played sports, and fished and hunted. She received a B.S. from Penn State University in 1994 and a M.S. from the University of Idaho in 2003. She moved to the great state of Alaska (where she still lives) in 1995 and never looked back. For 23 years, she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on threatened and endangered species science, management and policy decisions, and marine mammal conservation. In need of a change and new challenge, she started a PhD program at the University of Montana in 2019. She is interested in applied science that involves development and use of quantitative methods to inform conservation, management and policy decisions. Her PhD work aims to improve forecasts of dynamics and viability of the Kittlitz’s murrelet, an ice-associated seabird species endemic to Alaska and eastern Russia. She enjoys being outside doing anything (especially at night), cooking (and eating), playing sports, gardening, traveling to remote places, reading (for fun), doing puzzles and harvesting food.