Rachel Orben standing on a rocky coastline with the tide in the background

Research Associate
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Ph.D. Ocean Science, University of California Santa Cruz, 2014
B.S. Biological Sciences, Cornell University, 2002
Research/Career Interests: 

Animal movement, migration, foraging ecology, species–habitat relationships, food web dynamics, biologging, marine spatial planning, seabird-fisheries interactions

Rachael is a marine ecologist with a background in oceanography and field ecology. She is interested in how individual marine animals interact with their environment through movement: from fine-scale flight behavior to migrations. Rachael’s research combines biologging technology and field techniques to link movements to intrinsic individual characteristics, such as body condition, breeding success, and physiology to provide context for how marine animals interact with their environment. Recently, her work has taken her to Alaska, the northwest Hawaiian Islands, and the Falkland Islands.

Rachael splits her time between the Seabird Oceanography Lab and the GEMM Lab. 

Current Research Topics:

  • Fine-scale overlap between North Pacific Albatrosses and fishing vessels
  • Animal Movement Methodology: Residence in Space and Time (RST)
  • Measuring seabird flight heights to improve models of collision risk to off-shore wind turbines.
  • Distributions of seabirds off of the Oregon Coast
  • Year-round tracking of Western Gulls along the Oregon Coast
  • Red-legged kittiwake carry-over effects
  • Southern Sea Lion foraging ecology
Professional Preparation: 
10+ years of experience working with seabirds and pinnipeds in Alaska, Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, Greenland, Hawaii and the New Zealand Sub Antarctic
Ph.D. research focused on the winter foraging ecology of thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, and red-legged kittiwakes nesting on the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea
Affiliated with: 
Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna Laboratory (GEMM Lab)
Postdoctoral Scholar
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Beyond OSU
My Publications