Chandra is a wildlife and spatial ecologist whose work focuses on the diet and foraging behavior of marine top predators in relation to their prey and the environment.
Chandra earned her doctoral degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she worked with Dr. Daniel Costa on the foraging ecology of northern elephant seals. Her research combined biotelemetry and biochemical methods of diet determination to investigate the trophic dynamics of northern elephant seals in relation to their mesopelagic prey base in the eastern North Pacific Ocean. She has modelled diet composition, analyzed diving and migratory behavior, and examined the potential effects of climate variability on seal foraging behavior.
Chandra has studied a range of marine wildlife in the field, including elephant seals, seabirds, and bottlenose dolphins. In addition to co-leading elephant seal field seasons at Año Nuevo State Reserve in California, she has conducted small boat surveys of bottlenose dolphins and seabirds in Florida for population tracking, behavioral observation, and prey interactions. She also participated in a research cruise with Japanese colleagues at Hokkaido University to collect samples of potential prey of elephant seals and albatrosses in the eastern North Pacific and the Bering Sea.
Chandra began her postdoctoral research at BRI in September 2020, conducting research on multi-scale relationships between marine predators and forage fish in the Northwestern Atlantic. This project focuses on combining data from multiple surveys to better understand the distribution and availability of forage fish to predators in the mid-Atlantic and New England Outer Continental Shelf.
Goetsch, C., M. G. Conners, S. M. Budge, Y. Mitani, W. A. Walker, S. E. Simmons, and D. P. Costa. (in prep) Spatial, seasonal, and interannual diet differences revealed for a deep-ocean predator. Marine Ecology Progress Series.
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