Erin Pickett at front of boat with birds feeding in the ocean in the background

Graduate Research Assistant

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B.S. Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz 2010
Research/Career Interests: 

I am interested in the ecology and conservation of marine vertebrates. I am particularly curious about how these species respond to climate-induced changes in their habitat, and the spatial and temporal scale of this response. For my master’s research I am investigating the foraging ecology of Adelie and Gentoo penguins in the region surrounding Anvers Island on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Climate-induced warming along the peninsula has caused a southward shift in suitable breeding habitat for these two species. This has resulted in the expansion of Gentoo colonies into areas around Anvers Island that were historically only occupied by Adelie colonies. I will be using satellite and dive telemetry data to identify the ecological niches of Adelie and Gentoo penguins in this region and investigate the overlap of these niches. I will be analyzing an extended time series of this data to determine whether the foraging ranges/behavior of Gentoo and Adelie penguins vary significantly across years, describe the extent of this variation, and examine possible causes for these interannual changes.

I am a graduate research assistant under the advisement of Dr. Ari Friedlaender in the MMI Bio-Telemetry and Behavioral Ecology Laboratory and under the co-advisement of Dr. Bill Fraser of the Polar Oceans Research Group.
Professional Preparation: 
Research Assistant: A global dataset of historical and current invasive vertebrate eradications on islands. Island Conservation, Santa Cruz, California. 2013–2014.
Field Technician: Habitat restoration and seabird monitoring on Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2013.
Field Technician: A long-term ecological study of pinnipeds on Southeast Farallon Island. Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly PRBO), Petaluma, California. 2012–2013.
Field Team Leader: Population assessment and enhancement of the Hawaiian Monk seal in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Honolulu, Hawaii. 2010–2011 and 2012.
Database Assistant: A global dataset of threatened island species at risk from invasive vertebrates. Coastal Conservation Action Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2011–2012.
Field Technician: A long-term study of the ecology and physiology of the Northern Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Costa Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2007–2012.
Affiliated with: 
Bio-Telemetry and Behavioral Ecology Laboratory (BTBEL)
M.S. Student - Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Hatfield Marine Science Center
My Publications

I currently have no publications listed within this site.