Caroline Casey PhD Student

2012_01_24_MISC_SUNSET CARO (2)I am primarily interested in how marine mammals communicate with one another in different social contexts. I am presently a Master’s degree candidate in UCSC’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program, and am co-advised by Dr. Reichmuth and Dr. Dan Costa. I am conducting research on the acoustic, visual, and seismic signals used by male northern elephant seals during intense competitive interactions during the breeding season. This work will help us gain a better understanding of how intra-sexual communication is used in highly polygynous breeding systems.  I received my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UCSC, and have prior experience in conservation, restoration, and education. My e-mail address is


Rachel Holser – PhD Student

Justine Jackson-Ricketts – PhD student

Justine in TrinidadI am studying the diet, habitat, life history, and conservation of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in the Gulf of Thailand. I will be using stomach contents, stable isotopes, and statistical modeling to build a more complete picture of this rare and little-studied Southeast Asian marine and freshwater cetacean species.




Sarah Kienle – PhD student

I am currently a MS student at San Diego State University working with Dr. Annalisa Berta on pinniped feeding morphology.  I am broadly interested in the feeding ecology and evolution of feeding strategies in marine mammals.  For my MS thesis I am investigating the comparative morphology and evolution of feeding strategies in all phocids (seals).  In the fall (2013) I will be starting my PhD under Dr. Dan Costa and Dr. Rita Mehta at the University of California Santa Cruz.