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Jesse Senko

Asst Research Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603
Asst Research Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5603

Jesse Senko is an Assistant Research Professor and Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University. His research links science (natural and social) with practice (management and policy) to understand and solve dynamic social-ecological conservation challenges of the 21st century. He is particularly interested in creative, transdisciplinary approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of coastal fisheries and the billions of people who depend on them. Senko partners with scientists, fishers, engineers, NGOs, and government to develop, test, and implement 1) fisheries and wildlife conservation innovation that reduces bycatch of protected species (especially sea turtles and sharks) without compromising fishing profitability or efficiency; 2) community and market-based solutions to address pressing global fisheries and wildlife conservation problems. An avid recreational fisher who grew up in New England, Senko majored in fisheries and wildlife sciences at the University of Connecticut, received his master's in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida, and earned his Ph.D. in biology from Arizona State University. 

  • PhD, Biology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • MSc, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • BSc, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
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Research Interests

Applied conservation; ecological & social sustainability of fisheries & seafood; wildlife/marine megafauna ecology; conservation technology & innovation; community & market-based conservation; animal behavior & sensory ecology; human dimensions of conservation; environmental policy & politics; participatory learning; social marketing; environmental communication


Collaborators: ‡international, #domestic, *undergraduate, +fisher/citizen scientist

  • Senko JF, ‡Megill WM, Brooks LB, *Templeton RP, ‡Koch V (2019) Developing low-cost tags: Assessing the ecological impacts of tethered tag technology on host species. Endangered Species Research 39: 255-268.
  • Senko J, #Jenkins LD, ‡Peckham SH (2017) At loggerheads over international bycatch: initial effects of a unilaterally imposed bycatch reduction policy. Marine Policy 76: 200-209.
  • ‡Peckham SH, +Lucero-Romero  J, ‡Maldonado-Diaz D, +Rodriguez A, Senko J, Wojakowski M, Gaos A (2016) Buoyless nets reduce sea turtle bycatch in coastal net fisheries. Conservation Letters 9: 114-121.
  • Badingqiuying, Smith AT, Senko J, Siladan M (2016) Plateau pika poisoning campaign reduces carnivore abundance in southern Qinghai, China. Mammal Study 41: 1-8.
  • Senko J, ‡Mancini A, #Seminoff JA, ‡Koch V (2014) Bycatch and directed harvest drive high green turtle mortality at Baja California Sur, Mexico. Biological Conservation 169: 24-30.
  • Senko J, *White ER, Heppell SS, Gerber LR (2014) Comparing bycatch mitigation strategies for vulnerable marine megafauna. Animal Conservation 17: 5-18.
  • Senko J, Schneller AJ, +Solis J, Ollervides F, #Nichols WJ (2011) People helping turtles, turtles helping people: understanding resident attitudes towards sea turtle conservation and opportunities for enhanced community participation in Bahia Magdalena, Mexico. Ocean & Coastal Management 54: 148-157.
  • ‡Mancini A, Senko J, Borquez-Reyes R, Guzman Poo J, #Seminoff JA, ‡Koch V (2011) To poach or not to poach an endangered species: elucidating the economic and social drivers behind illegal sea turtle hunting in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Human Ecology 39: 743-756.
  • Frick MG, Zardus JD, Ross A, Senko J, Montano-Valdez D, Bucio-Pacheco M, Sosa-Conejos I (2011) Novel records and observations of the barnacle Stephanolepas muricata (Cirripedia:Balanomorpha: Coronuloidea); including a case for chemical mediation in turtle and whale barnacles. Journal of Natural History 45: 629-640.
  • Senko J, ‡Koch V, ‡Megill WM, Carthy RR, *Templeton RP, #Nichols WJ (2010) Fine scale daily movements and habitat use of East Pacific green turtles at a shallow coastal lagoon in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 391: 92-100.
  • Senko J, Lopez-Castro M, ‡Koch V, #Nichols WJ (2010) Immature East Pacific green turtles (Chelonia mydas) use multiple foraging areas off the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico: first evidence from mark-recapture data. Pacific Science 64: 125-130. 
  • Senko J, #Nichols WJ, Ross JP, Willcox AS (2010) To eat or not to eat an endangered species: views of local residents and physicians on the safety of sea turtle consumption in northwestern Mexico. EcoHealth 6: 584-595.     
Research Activity

Collaborators: ‡international, #domestic, *undergraduate, +fisher/citizen scientist

  • PI: Senko JF; Co-PIs: Wallace BP; Witherington B; NOAA Technical Advisors: #Wang J; Gearhart J; “Developing and testing innovative solutions to reduce leatherback turtle bycatch in Trinidad and Tobago”. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; May 2020 – April 2022; $102,083.50.
  • PI: Senko JF; “Disney Conservation Fund 25th Anniversary ‘Earth Day 50’ at Animal Kingdom Celebration”; gift for excellence in conservation research and outreach; April 2020; $20,000.
  • PI: Senko JF; Collaborator: ‡Mancini A; NOAA Technical Advisor: #Wang J; “Developing renewable-powered illuminated nets to reduce sea turtle, shark, and manta ray bycatch in coastal net fisheries”. Disney Conservation Fund; October 2019 – October 2021; $50,000.
  • PI: Senko JF; “Testing solar-powered net illumination to reduce sea turtle bycatch in net fisheries at Baja California Sur, Mexico”. World Wildlife Fund; August – December 2019; $16,902.
  • PI: Blain Christen J; Co-PIs: Senko J; Ozev S; Collaborators: #Wang J; ‡Mancini A; “Machine learning enabled “Smart Nets” to optimize technology for sustainable fisheries.” National Science Foundation Cyber Physical Systems; September 2018 – September 2021; $1,000,000 (share of budget: $340,000; 34%).
  • PI: Senko J; Co-PI: Bowden S; Collaborator: ‡Mancini A; NOAA Technical Advisor: #Wang J; “Developing renewable-powered fisheries solutions to reduce sea turtle bycatch in gillnet fisheries”. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; September 2018 – October 2019; $75,000.
  • PI: Senko J; Co-PI: Bowden S; Collaborator: ‡Mancini A; NOAA Technical Advisor: #Wang J; “Developing solar-powered illuminated nets to reduce sea turtle and elasmobranch bycatch in gillnet fisheries”. Disney Conservation Fund; October 2017 – October 2019; $50,000.
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 492Honors Directed Study
SOS 493Honors Thesis
FSE 494Special Topics
FIS 494Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
FIS 194Special Topics
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
FSE 494Special Topics
FIS 494Special Topics
Honors / Awards

2017 Arizona State University Graduate College Knowledge Mobilization Impact Award; 1st place, postdoctoral category