Tinker & Estes Lab and Santa Cruz Field Station

A cooperative unit of University of California, Santa Cruz and United States Geological Survey


Sarah McKay Strobel, PhD Student
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz

I am broadly interested in the sensory ecology of predator-prey interactions, and specifically, how predators and prey respond to movements and behaviors of the other. This approach considers an organism's sensory and cognitive constraints that guide these interactions. My project focuses on sea otter underwater foraging behavior in controlled and natural settings to investigate how sea otters detect, locate, and acquire benthic prey. I will be working in close collaboration with the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory at UCSC, where I am co-advised by Dr. Colleen Reichmuth.

For my undergraduate thesis, I collaborated with a Sensory Ecology lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to study the auditory abilities of American sand lance, an important forage fish in the North Atlantic. Using electrophsyiological techniques, I created an audiogram for the species and probed their abilities to acoustically detect predators.

B.A. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Princeton University, NJ, 2011



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