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NOAA Fisheries Personnel Default Profile

Marla Holt, Ph.D.

Research Wildlife Biologist
Ecosystem Science Program
Office: (206) 860-3261

Marla Holt, Ph.D.

Research Wildlife Biologist


Marla Holt is a Research Wildlife Biologist for the Marine Mammal Ecology Team.  She joined the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Associate for the Marine Mammal Program starting in October of 2006.  Her postdoctoral research was an investigation on the effects of vessel noise on the acoustic signals of Southern Resident killer whales.  She also wrote a review paper which focused on sound exposure in Southern Resident killer whales.  Marla received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Ocean Sciences.  Her dissertation focused on pinniped spatial acoustics including sound localization and auditory masking in captive seals and sea lions and call directionality in free-ranging northern elephant seals.  Marla also has an M.S. in Marine Sciences and a B.A. in Marine Biology both from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Current Research

Marla's current research focuses on marine mammal acoustics including the effects of noise on the acoustic signals and behavior of Southern Resident killer whales, their use of sound during different activity states, and the cost of sound production in odontocetes.  Her research interests include marine mammal sound production and acoustic communication, sensory ecology (including hearing capabilities and auditory scene analysis), sound exposure and acoustic risk factors, and passive acoustic monitoring.