Heather Coletti - Marine Ecologist

Heather uses a spotting scope to observe sea otter foraging behavior.
Heather observes sea otter foraging behavior in nearshore monitoring.

NPS/Jim Pfeiffenberger

Heather Coletti
Marine Ecologist

Southwest Alaska I&M Network
National Park Service

240 West 5th Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99508

Current Activities
Monitoring resources that are explicitly linked to the marine nearshore along regions within the Gulf of Alaska through the NPS SWAN I&M program and Gulf Watch Alaska.

MSc. University of New Hampshire, Natural Resources: Environmental Conservation, 2006

B.S. University of Rhode Island, Zoology, 1997

Professional Experience
2008-Present: Marine Ecologist, National Park Service, Southwest Alaska Network, Fairbanks, AK

2002-2008: Biologist, USGS, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK

2001-2002: Biological Technician, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, AK

2001: Fisheries Biologist, USGS, Glacier Bay, AK

2000: Research Assistant, US Fish and Wildlife, Kenai, AK

Awards and Recognition
2020 Regional Director's Award for Natural Resource Research
2020 Inventory & Monitoring Division Partnership and Collaboration Award

Selected Publications

Bowen, L., J. Yee, J. Bodkin, S. Waters, M. Murray, H. Coletti, B. Ballachey, D. Monson, and A. K. Miles. 2023. Gene expression and wildlife health: Varied interpretations based on perspective. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1157700.

Robinson, B., H. A. Coletti, B. Ballachey, J. L. Bodkin, K. Kloecker, S. B. Traiger, and D. Esler. 2023. Lack of strong responses to the Pacific marine heatwave by benthivorous marine birds indicates importance of trophic drivers. Marine Ecology Progress Series: HEATav10.

Jones, T., J. K. Parrish, J. Lindsey, C. Wright, H. K. Burgess, J. Dolliver, L. Divine, R. Kaler, D. Bradley, G. Sorenson, R. Torrenta, S. Backensto, H. Coletti, J. T. Harvey, H. M. Nevins, E. Donnelly-Greenan, D. L. Sherer, J. Roletto, and K. Lindquist. 2023. Marine bird mass mortality events as an indicator of the impacts of ocean warming. Marine Ecology Progress Series: HEATav8.

Carney, B., D. Tessler, H. Coletti, J. M. Welker, and D. Causey. 2023. Stable isotope-determined diets of Black Oystercatchers Haematopus bachmani in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Marine Ornithology 51: 123-135.

Monson, D. H., R. L. Taylor, G. V. Hilderbrand, J. A. Erlenbach, H. A. Coletti, K. A. Kloecker, G. G. Esslinger, and J. L. Bodkin. 2022. Brown bear-sea otter interactions along the Katmai coast: Terrestrial and nearshore communities linked by predation. Journal of Mammalogy pp. 1-13.

Bowen, L., S. Knowles, K. Lefebvre, M. St. Martin, M. Murray, K. Kloecker, D. Monson, B. Weitzman, B. Ballachey, H. Coletti, S. Waters, and C. Cummings. 2022. Divergent gene expression profiles in Alaskan sea otters: An indicator of chronic domoic acid exposure? Oceans 3(3): 401-418.

Coletti, H., G. Hilderbrand, J. Bodkin, B. Bellachey, J. Erlenbach, G. Esslinger, M. Hannam, K. Kloecker, B. Mangipane, A. Miller, D. Monson, B. Pister, K. Griffin, K. Bodkin, and T. Smith. 2022. Where land and sea meet: Brown bears and sea otters. Frontiers for Young Minds 10: 715993.

Coletti, H., L. Bowen, B. Ballachey, T. L. Wilson, S. Waters, M. Booz, K. L. Counihan, T. Hollmen, and B. Pister. 2022. The mysterious case of the missing razor clams. Frontiers for Young Minds 10: 715425.

Traiger, S. B., J. L. Bodkin, H. A. Coletti, B. Ballachey, T. Dean, D. Esler, K. Iken, B. Konar, M. R. Lindberg, D. Monson, B. Robinson, R. M. Suryan, and B. P. Weitzman. 2022. Evidence of increased mussel abundance related to the Pacific marine heatwave and sea star wasting. Marine Ecology : e12715.

Coletti, H. A., L. Bowen, B. E. Ballachey, T. L. Wilson, S. Waters, M. Booz, K. L. Counihan, T. E. Hollmen, and B. Pister. 2021. Gene expression profiles in two razor clam populations: Discerning drivers of population status. Life 11(12): 1288.

Coletti, H. A. 2021. Sea otter behavior and its influence on littoral community structure. pp. 139-160, In Davis, R. W. and A. M. Pagano, eds, Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Sea Otters and Polar Bears. Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Marine Mammals. Springer.

Tinker, M. T., J. L. Bodkin, L. Bowen, B. Ballachey, G. Bentall, A. Burdin, H. Coletti, G. Esslinger, B. B. Hatfield, M. C. Kenner, K. Kloecker, B. Konar, A. K. Miles, D. H. Monson, M. J. Murray, B. P. Weitzman, and J. A. Estes. 2021. Sea otter population collapse in southwest Alaska: Assessing ecological covariates, consequences, and causal factors. Ecological Monographs: e01472.

Weitzman, B., B. Konar, K. Iken, H. Coletti, D. Monson, R. Suryan, T. Dean, D. Hondolero, and M. Lindeberg. 2021. Changes in rocky intertidal community structure during a marine heatwave in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Frontiers in Marine Science 8:1-18.

Suryan, R. M., M. L. Arimitsu, H. A. Coletti, R. R. Hopcroft, M. R. Lindeberg, ... et al. 2021. Ecosystem response persists after a prolonged marine heatwave. Scientific Reports 11:6235.

Arimitsu, M. L., J. F. Piatt, S. Hatch, R. M. Suryan, S. Batten, M. A. Bishop, R. W. Campbell, H. Coletti, D. Cushing, K. Gorman, R. R. Hopcroft, K. J. Kuletz, C. Marsteller, C. McKinstry, D. McGowan, J. Moran, S. Pegau, A. Schaefer, S. Schoen, J. Straley, and V. R. von Biela. 2021. Heatwave-induced synchrony within forage fish portfolio disrupts energy flow to top pelagic predators. Global Change Biology

Bowen, L., K. L.Counihan, B. Ballachey, H. A. Coletti, T. Hollmen, B. Pister, and T. L. Wilson. 2020. Monitoring nearshore ecosystem health using Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula) as an indicator species. PeerJ 8:e8761.

Piatt, J. F., J. K. Parrish, H. M. Renner, S. K. Schoen, ... H. A. Coletti, et al. 2020. Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific marine heatwave of 2014-2016. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0226087.

Counihan, K., L. Bowen, B. Ballachey, H. Coletti, T. Hollmen, B. Pister, and T. L. Wilson. 2019. Physiological and gene transcription assays to assess responses of mussels to environmental changes. PeerJ 7:e7800

Konar, B., T. J. Mitchell, K. Iken, H. Coletti, T. Dean, D. Esler, M. Lindberg, B. Pister, and B. Weitzman. 2019. Wasting disease and static environmental variables drive sea star assemblages in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 520: 151209.

Davis, R. W., J. L. Bodkin, H. A. Coletti, D. H. Monson, S. E. Larson, L. P. Carswell, and L. M. Nichol. 2019. Future directions in sea otter research and management. Frontiers in Marine Science DOI:10.3389

Robinson, B. H., H. A. Coletti, L. M. Phillips, and A. N. Powell. 2018. Are prey remains accurate indicators of chick diet? A comparison of diet quantification techniques for Black Oystercatchers. Wader Study 125(1): 00–00.

Bodkin, J. L., H. A. Coletti, B. E. Ballachey, D. H. Monson, D. Esler, and T. A. Dean. 2017. Variation in abundance of Pacific blue mussel (Mytilus trossulus) in the northern Gulf of Alaska, 2006-2015. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography DOI: 10.1016/j. dsr2.2017.04.008.

Ballachey, B. E., J. L. Bodkin, K. A. Kloecker, T. A. Dean, and H. A. Coletti. 2015. Monitoring for Evaluation of Recovery and Restoration of Injured Nearshore Resources. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Restoration Project 10100750), U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska.

Ballachey, B., J. Bodkin, H. Coletti, T. Dean, D. Esler, G. Esslinger, K. Iken, K. Kloecker, B. Konar, M. Lindeberg, D. Monson, M. Shephard, and B. Weitzman. 2015. Variability within nearshore ecosystems of the Gulf of Alaska. In: Quantifying temporal and spatial variability across the northern Gulf of Alaska to understand mechanisms of change. Gulf Watch Alaska Synthesis Report to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, Projects 14120114 and 14120120.

Bodkin, J., B. Ballachey, H. Coletti, G. Esslinger, K. Kloecker, S. Rice, J. Reed and D. Monson. 2012. Long-term effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill: Sea otter foraging in the intertidal as a pathway of exposure to lingering oil. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Bodkin, J. L., B. E. Ballachey, G. G. Esslinger, K. A. Kloecker, D. H. Monson, and H. A. Coletti. 2007. Perspectives of an invading predator: Sea otters in Glacier Bay. Pp.133-136 in J. F. Piatt and S. M. Gende (eds.), Proceedings of the Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5047, 246 p.

Coletti, H., D. Esler, B. Ballachey, J. Bodkin, G. Esslinger, K. Kloecker, D. Monson, B. Robinson, B. Weitzman, T. Dean, and M. Lindeberg. 2017. Gulf Watch Alaska: Nearshore Benthic Systems in the Gulf of Alaska. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Restoration Project 16120114-R), Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, Anchorage, Alaska.

Coletti, H. A., J. L. Bodkin, D. H. Monson, B. E. Ballachey and T. A. Dean. 2016. Detecting and inferring cause of change in an Alaska nearshore marine ecosystem. Ecosphere 7 (10): e01489.10.1002/ecs2.1489

Coletti, H. A. and T. L. Wilson. 2015. Nearshore marine bird surveys: data synthesis, analysis and recommendations for sampling frequency and intensity to detect population trends. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report (Restoration Project 12120114-F), National Park Service, Anchorage, Alaska.

Coletti, H. A. J. L. Bodkin and G. G. Esslinger. 2011. Distribution and density of marine birds and mammals along the Kenai Fjords National Park coastline - March 2010: Southwest Alaska Network Inventory and Monitoring Program. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/SWAN/NRTR—2011/451. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Coletti, H. A., J. L. Bodkin, and G. G. Esslinger. 2011. Sea otter abundance in Kenai Fjords national Park: results from the 2010 aerial survey: Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/SWAN/NRTR—2011/417. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Coletti, H. 2006. Correlating sea otter density and behavior to habitat attributes in Prince William Sound, Alaska: A model for prediction. MS Thesis, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. pp. 99.

Dean, T. A., J. L. Bodkin, and H. A. Coletti. 2014. Protocol Narrative for Nearshore Marine Ecosystem Monitoring in the Gulf of Alaska: Version 1.1. Natural Resource Report NPS/SWAN/NRR - 2014/756. Fort Collins, Colorado.

Konar, B, K. Iken, H. Coletti, D. Monson, and B. Weitzman. 2016. Influence of static habitat attributes on local and regional rocky intertidal community structure. Estuaries and Coasts 39: 1735-1745.

Last updated: April 3, 2024