Douglas Krause – NOAA Fisheries Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division, Fisheries Biologist

Doug_zodiacI successfully defended my dissertation (The foraging ecology, diet, and mass estimation of an apex predator, the leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), at Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula) on 7 June, 2016 and received a Ph.D. in Oceanography. I am now employed as a research fisheries biologist with NOAA Fisheries Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division.



Kane Cunningham 

I am currently studying hearing in marine mammals with a focus on the effects of anthropogenic noise on pinnipeds.

Elizabeth McHuron – UC Santa Cruz, Postdoc

Suzanne Manugian 

541931_10100306240433565_310177130_n_2Suzanne recently graduated from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories where she studied the survival of harbor seals from San Francisco Bay and Tomales Bay. She is now working as Post-Graduate Intern at Point Blue Conservation Science.




Rachael Orben – Oregon State University, Postdoc


I am interested in the foraging ecology and movements of marine predators.  My thesis work is focused on the foraging ecology of black-legged and red-legged kittiwakes and thick-billed murres during their winter migrations in the North Pacific and Bering Sea.   Though I have primarily worked with seabirds, along the way I have worked with a number of species of fur seals and am currently collaborating on a project studying the foraging ecology of Southern Sea Lions in the Falkland Islands.



Sarah Peterson – USGS, Wildlife Biologist; Research Fellow at UCSC

kayaking pic

I am interested in a broad range of ecological questions and my dissertation research melds ecology, physiology, and toxicology to understand anthropogenic contaminants in top marine predators. I am interested how marine predators such as northern elephant seals may accumulate contaminants over the course of their foraging trips and whether there are certain ecological factors that increase their exposure to and accumulation of contaminants like mercury. Elephant seals utilize a vast and understudied region within the Pacific Ocean, and will inform our understanding of non-lethal contaminant monitoring for a region that is extremely difficult to study.


Jillian Sills – UC Santa Cruz, Postdoc

I am interested in the sensory biology and ecology of marine mammals, pinnipeds in particular. My current research focuses on hearing in Arctic seals, and the effects of noise on their ability to detect important sounds.

L. Maxine Tarjan – San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Waterbird Program Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am interested in animal behavior, interactions between individuals and their environment, and how those interactions scale up to affect populations and ecosystems. The objectives of my Ph.D. thesis are to identify the primary drivers of the sea otter mating system. In particular, I am exploring the territory resources and male attributes that influence male reproductive success. This project will contribute an understanding of the resources that influence reproduction and population dynamics in sea otters.



Nicole Thometz – UC Santa Cruz, Postdoc


Nicole recently graduated from UCSC with her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her thesis research examined the energetic demands, phsyiological limits, and diving ability of southern sea otters across age classes and how these traits impacted their ability to forage within the near shore environment. Nicole is now a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Terrie Williams lab at UCSC.



Jessie Zupcic-Moore 


I am primarily interested in using stable isotope analysis of top predators to understand ecosystems