Project Manager and Marine Biologist
Project Manager and Marine Biologist


Dr. Michael Richlen is a project manager in the Coastal Sciences Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Richlen received his PhD from the University of Hawaii conducting research primarily on cetacean bioacoustics. His research interests are centered around marine mammal conservation and mitigation of anthropogenic effects to marine species and ecosystems. 

Dr. Richlen has a diverse background focusing on marine mammal occurrence, distribution, conservation, and ecology. Prior to joining Pacific Northwest National Laboratory he spent 12 years as a technical project manager and research biologist supporting the U.S. Navy’s Marine Species Monitoring Program in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Dr. Richlen’s experience and interests align well with his current role conducting environmental monitoring for offshore energy and wind groups. He serves as the project manager for the Triton Initiative, a program that researches and develops monitoring technologies and methods to understand potential environmental impacts of marine energy systems.

Research Interest

  • Environmental monitoring for offshore energy
  • Marine mammal ecology
  • Bioacoustics
  • Passive acoustic monitoring
  • Conservation biology


  • PhD in Zoology, University of Hawaii, 2018
  • MS in Biology, Western Illinois University, 2005
  • BS in Biology, University of Washington, 1999
  • BS in Zoology, University of Washington, 1999



  • Engelhaupt, D.T., Pusser, T., Aschettino, J.M., Engelhaupt, A.G., Cotter, M.P., Richlen, M.F. and J.T. Bell. 2020. Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) sightings off the coast of Virginia. Marine Biodiversity Records. 13:6.
  • Aschettino, J.M., D.T. Engelhaupt, A.G. Engelhaupt, A. DiMatteo, T. Pusser, M.F. Richlen. 2020. Satellite telemetry reveals spatial overlap between vessel high-traffic areas and humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.  Frontiers in Marine Science 7: 121.


  • Jefferson, T. A. and M. F. Richlen. 2019. Apparent low densities of small cetaceans in Okinawa may be due to uncontrolled local hunting.  Pacific Science 73(2): 275-284.


  • Rudd, A.B., M.F. Richlen, A.K. Stimpert, and W.W.L Au. 2014 (in press). Underwater sound measurements of a high speed jet-propelled marine craft: Implications for large whales.  Pacific Science 69(2): 22 pages.
  • Au, W.W. L., G. Giorli, J. Chen, A. Copeland, M. O. Lammers, M. Richlen, S. Jarvis, R. Morrissey, and D. Moretti. 2014.  Presence and seasonal variation of deep diving foraging odontocetes around Kauai, Hawaii using remote autonomous recorders.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 135 (1): 521-530.


  • Au, W.W. L., G. Giorli, J. Chen, A. Copeland, M. Lammers, and M. Richlen.  2013.  Nighttime foraging by deep diving echolocating odontocetes off the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Ni’ihau as determined by passive acoustic monitors.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 133(5): 3319-3127.


  • Au, W.W. L., M.F. Richlen, and M. O. Lammers 2012.  The soundscape of a nearshore reef near an urban center.  Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 730: 345-351.


  • Richlen M.F., and J.A. Thomas. 2008. Acoustic behavior of Antarctic killer whales (Orcinus orca) recorded near the ice edge of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Aquatic Mammals 34(4):448-457.
  • Akamatsu, T., D. Wang, K. Wang, S. Li, S. Dong, X. Zhao, J. Barlow, B.S. Stewart, and M. Richlen. 2008. Estimation of the detection probability for Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) with a passive acoustic method. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 123(6): 4403-4411.
  • Li, S., T. Akamatsu, D. Wang, K. Wang, S. Dong, X. Zhao, Z. Wei, Z. Zhang, B. Taylor, L.A. Barrett, S.T. Turvey, R.R. Reeves, B.S. Stewart, M. Richlen, and J.R. Brandon. 2008. Indirect evidence of boat avoidance behavior of Yangtze finless porpoises. Bioacoustics 17:174-176.
  • Turvey, S.T., R.L. Pitman, B.L.  Taylor, J. Barlow, T. Akamatsu, L.A. Barrett, X. Zhao, R.R. Reeves, B.S. Stewart, K. Wang, Z. Wei, X. Zhang, L.T. Pusser, M. Richlen, J.R. Brandon, and D. Wang. 2007. First human caused extinction of a cetacean species? Biology Letters 3(5):537-540.


  • Richlen, M. F., L. Slooten, and S. Dawson. 2005. Project summary technical brief for the 2004-2005 field study of Maui’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) in the Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand. Submitted to the Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Richlen, M. F. 2005. The marine environment and the marine mammals of Panama.  Panama: the Bradt Travel Guide, author Sarah Woods. Bradt Travel Guides.



  • DeMaster, D., C. Fowler, S. Perry, and M. Richlen. 2001. Predation and competition: the impact of fisheries on marine mammal populations over the next 100 years. Journal of Mammalogy 82(3): 641-651.