Research Interests:Field work with cetaceans and sea turtles has taken me to tropical and temperate regions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans as well as the polar seas of the Arctic and Antarctic. I first came to the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 1992 as a field biologist for a dolphin survey in the eastern tropical Pacific. Currently I alternate between the ETP Cetacean Assessment Program and the Photogrammetry & Life History Program. In addition to collecting data for these programs, I use photo-identification as a tool to investigate the geographic movement and stock structure of killer whales and blue whales in the ETP. When I’m not working I enjoy running, hiking, and camping.
- Olson, P.A. 2012. Review of Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast: Baja, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, by Sarah G. Allen, Joe Mortenson, and Sophie Webb. Quarterly Review of Biology. 87(3):27
- Olson, P.A., Ensor, P. and S. Kuningas. Observations of killer whales off east Antarctica, 082 - 095E, in 2009. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(1):61-64
- Pitman, R. L., Durban, J.W., Greenfelder, M., Guinet, C., Jorgensen, M., Olson, P.A., Plana, J., Tixier, P., and J. R. Towers. 2010. Observations of a distinctive morphotype of killer whale (Orcinus orca), type D, from sub-Antarctic waters. Polar Biology 34(2): 303-306.
- Olson, P.A. 2010. Blue whale photo-identification from IWC IDCR/SOWER cruises 1987/1988 to 2008/2009. IWC SC/62/SH29.
- Jefferson, T.A., Olson, P.A., Kieckhefer, T.R., and L. Rojas-Bracho. 2009. Photo-identification of the vaquita (Phocoena sinus): the world’s most endangered cetacean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 7(1-2):53-56.
- Olson, P.A. 2009. Pilot whales (Globicephala melas and G. macrorhynchus). In: Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, 2nd Edition. Eds. W.F. Perrin, J.G.M. Thewissen, and B. Würsig. San Diego: Academic Press.
- Olson, P.A. and T. Gerrodette.2008. Killer whales of the eastern tropical Pacific: A catalog of photo-identified individuals. NOAA-TM-NMFS-SWFSC-428.
- Kane, E.A., Olson, P.A., Gerrodette, T., and P.C. Fiedler. 2008. The commensal cetacean barnacle Xenobalanus globicipitis in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, with a review of global occurrence. Fishery Bulletin 106(4): 395–404.
- Olson, P.A. 2006. Small cetaceans of the Antarctic. In: Encyclopedia of the Antarctic, Ed. B. Riffenburgh. New York: Taylor and Francis Books.