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I am an Assistant Researcher with the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I study the behavior and ecology of marine mammals and how it relates to oceanographic processes.  My work to date has primarily focused on a major marine heatwave in the North Pacific and its effects on the reproduction and foraging ecology of the northern elephant seal. 

In addition to my day job as a professional seal observer, I enjoy spending time rock climbing, running, cycling, reading fantasy and science fiction, playing computer games, and watching my two cats race wildly around my home battling the tiny  interdimensional monsters that only they seem to be aware of.

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Institute of Marine Sciences

University of California, Santa Cruz

115 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Assistant Researcher

Rachel Holser

Latest Publication

Extent and Magnitude of Subsurface Anomalies During the Northwast Pacific Blob as Measured by Animal-Borne Sensors

Holser RR, TR Keates, DP Costa, CA Edwards. (2022) JGR: Oceans

  • Animal-borne ocean sensors provide unique insights into the physical mechanisms of a marine heatwave

  • Significant sub-surface temperature anomalies were observed down to 1,000 m of depth between 2014 and 2017

  • Analysis of spice anomalies on deep isopycnals indicates that northward advection of water masses contributed to sustained deep anomalies


Rachel Holser

Institute of Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz

115 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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