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Mukta Kelkar

BS, Environmental Systems, UC San Diego

Mukta completed her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego in 2017, during which she worked in the Marine Bioacoustics Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She studied blue whale acoustic behavior and looked at the impact of climate change and Navy sonar on blue whale foraging calls. At the same time, she worked for the environmental advocacy division of UC San Diego’s student government. In that role, she founded and led local campus efforts to support UC-wide fossil fuel divestment. Mukta’s parallel experiences in research and advocacy opened her eyes to the necessity of applying science to relevant policies.    

Mukta’s passion for policy led her to Oakland, CA after college, where she completed an intensive ten-month AmeriCorps Fellowship with the City of Oakland’s Sustainability Program. She contributed to writing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory report and updated the Sustainability Program’s website. She later helped public agencies better engage with their communities while working at Circlepoint, an environmental consulting firm. In her free time, Mukta advocated for a Green New Deal while volunteering with the Sunrise Movement.    

As a PhD student at the Bren School, Mukta is broadly interested in researching how marine ecosystems are impacted by climate change. She’s especially curious to use modeling techniques to understand how changing ocean conditions and shifting prey availability will impact species distribution. Her ultimate goal is to use ecosystem models to help create effective, inclusive, and equitable marine resource management strategies.   

Year Admitted

Research Areas
Marine ecology, climate change, marine resource management

Faculty Advisor
Darcy Bradley and Steve Gaines

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