Ph.D. Student (OSU)

Rachel Kaplan is a Ph.D. student at Oregon State University, co-advised by Dr. Kim Bernard and Dr. Leigh Torres. She is interested in how marine animal distribution and behavior intersect with anthropogenic systems, and how understanding these interactions can inform management and conservation efforts. Her research focuses on humpback, blue, and fin whales, and how the shrimp-like zooplankton krill helps structure the distributions of these protected rorquals off the coast of Oregon. Rachel loves eating snacks at sea, sharing science with non-specialist audiences, and baking sourdough bread.

Why is the HALO project important to you? Anything you’re most excited to learn about?

HALO gives us an amazing look at how the cetacean community off the coast of Newport changes through the year. I’m excited to learn about how krill swarms change in tandem, by using active acoustic techniques.

Why is support from the public so essential to the
HALO project?

As Oregonians, we are all so lucky to have whales and krill make their homes off the coast and share their ecosystem services with us. Public support for this work makes HALO holistic socially as well as scientifically, allowing us to learn more about these essential animals as a community.