Honors & Awards

  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship (SGF), Stanford University (2017)
  • NSF GRFP, National Science Foundation (2018)

Education & Certifications

  • MS, Northwestern University, Environmental Engineering & Science (2015)
  • BS, Northwestern University, Environmental Engineering (2015)

Stanford Advisors

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Will's research focuses on the behavior of highly-mobile (and often marine) species. This work includes study of animal behavior on individual and population scales, the environmental (often oceanographic) drivers of these behaviors, and the human-wildlife interactions resulting from such behaviors. With previous work and research experience in both oceanography (WHOI) and conservation (NRDC), his current research folds these disciplines in with novel methods for studying animal behaviors across scales. Will's current research in this area includes contributions to a study on oceanographic drivers of sailfish and blue marlin in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, computational work to investigate the ephemeral environmental and anthropogenic drivers of elephant movements, and exploration of blue whale behavior in Monterey Bay, CA. This research on blue whales is Will's current primary focus, and includes integration of tagging, acoustic, and satellite remote sensing data to explore the behavior of these animals at multiple scales alongside their environmental drivers.

All Publications

  • A comparative analysis of dynamic management in marine and terrestrial systems FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Oestreich, W. K., Chapman, M. S., Crowder, L. B. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1002/fee.2243

    View details for Web of Science ID 000552430800001

  • The impact of environmental change on small-scale fishing communities: moving beyond adaptive capacity to community response PREDICTING FUTURE OCEANS: SUSTAINABILITY OF OCEAN AND HUMAN SYSTEMS AMIDST GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Oestreich, W. K., Frawley, T. H., Mansfield, E. J., Green, K. M., Green, S. J., Naggea, J., Selgrath, J. C., Swanson, S. S., Urteaga, J., White, T. D., Crowder, L. B., CisnerosMontemayor, A. M., Cheung, W. W., Ota, Y. 2019: 271–82
  • Geostatistical Analysis of Mesoscale Spatial Variability and Error in SeaWiFS and MODIS/Aqua Global Ocean Color Data JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS Glover, D. M., Doney, S. C., Oestreich, W. K., Tullo, A. W. 2018; 123 (1): 22–39
  • Coral bleaching response index: a new tool to standardize and compare susceptibility to thermal bleaching GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY Swain, T. D., Vega-Perkins, J. B., Oestreich, W. K., Triebold, C., DuBois, E., Henss, J., Baird, A., Siple, M., Backman, V., Marcelino, L. 2016; 22 (7): 2475–88


    As coral bleaching events become more frequent and intense, our ability to predict and mitigate future events depends upon our capacity to interpret patterns within previous episodes. Responses to thermal stress vary among coral species; however the diversity of coral assemblages, environmental conditions, assessment protocols, and severity criteria applied in the global effort to document bleaching patterns creates challenges for the development of a systemic metric of taxon-specific response. Here, we describe and validate a novel framework to standardize bleaching response records and estimate their measurement uncertainties. Taxon-specific bleaching and mortality records (2036) of 374 coral taxa (during 1982-2006) at 316 sites were standardized to average percent tissue area affected and a taxon-specific bleaching response index (taxon-BRI) was calculated by averaging taxon-specific response over all sites where a taxon was present. Differential bleaching among corals was widely variable (mean taxon-BRI = 25.06 ± 18.44%, ±SE). Coral response may differ because holobionts are biologically different (intrinsic factors), they were exposed to different environmental conditions (extrinsic factors), or inconsistencies in reporting (measurement uncertainty). We found that both extrinsic and intrinsic factors have comparable influence within a given site and event (60% and 40% of bleaching response variance of all records explained, respectively). However, when responses of individual taxa are averaged across sites to obtain taxon-BRI, differential response was primarily driven by intrinsic differences among taxa (65% of taxon-BRI variance explained), not conditions across sites (6% explained), nor measurement uncertainty (29% explained). Thus, taxon-BRI is a robust metric of intrinsic susceptibility of coral taxa. Taxon-BRI provides a broadly applicable framework for standardization and error estimation for disparate historical records and collection of novel data, allowing for unprecedented accuracy in parameterization of mechanistic and predictive models and conservation plans.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/gcb.13276

    View details for Web of Science ID 000378722000016

    View details for PubMedID 27074334

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5433437

  • Colored dissolved organic matter in shallow estuaries: relationships between carbon sources and light attenuation BIOGEOSCIENCES Oestreich, W. K., Ganju, N. K., Pohlman, J. W., Suttles, S. E. 2016; 13 (2): 583–95