Rachel Holser

Rachel is a PhD student in the Costa Lab. Her research focuses on individual variability among elephant seals and looks at differences in foraging behavior, responses to climatic disturbance, and personality types.

A Long Migration

This year’s post-molt migration is proving to be unusual, to say the least.  Four of our tracked females crossed the dateline during their trip to sea, more than we have ever seen from a single group of tracked seals.  One of those animals, nicknamed Phyllis, has broken the distance record for a tracked animal by a significant margin.  You can read more about Phyllis here.   Have a look at the live tracking data for our …

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It’s all about the wait…

Five hours in San Francisco airport. Twenty two hours in Los Angeles. Ten hours in Sydney. Five days in Christchurch… But I made it to McMurdo. Despite all the bumps that this trip has had, I am finally in McMurdo, ready to start field work. Wait… Nope. There’s the training! Light vehicle training, medical training, waste disposal training, field safety training (including how to ride helicopters and survive in the sea ice), GPS class, environmental …

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Week 1 – October 1, 2015

  The day started out early, as most field days do! Año Nuevo State Park is only about a 20 minute drive from our lab at UCSC, but I had some last minute checks to do on the satellite tags to make sure they were ready to be deployed.    Año Nuevo Island, which unlike the mainland is not open to the public, is a pretty amazing place in terms of wildlife. There are California …

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