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Memorial Scholarships

Rachel Anne Morrison

Rachel Anne Morrison

Rachel Anne Morrison, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, suffered fatal injuries after being struck by a car on March 28 in Del Mar, Calif.

Rachel was an emerging star with a passion for being at sea and applying her research to the future health of the ocean. Her research focused on questions of resilience of marine ecosystems, and specifically the capacity of ecosystem recovery following major disturbances. Rachel’s thirst for being at sea was evidenced by her participation in research cruises to Brazil, the Cook Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, as well as a number of other ship-based expeditions.

Her current and former Scripps Oceanography advisors Stuart Sandin, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, and Phil Hastings described her as a bright, energetic, and driven individual.

Sandin fondly recalled Rachel’s never-ending compulsion to succeed and her unique view of obstacles as opportunities to find creative solutions. Aburto-Oropeza began working with her a short time ago and described their interactions as one of the most dynamic collaborations in his life and highlighted her passion for communicating science to broad audiences.

Her friends and colleagues at Scripps have described her touchingly:

“Rachel was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was dedicated to her work in ocean conservation and exploration. She enjoyed simply being out on the water. She was a brilliant, giving, and selfless person that always had a smile on her face. Rachel was an explorer at heart, sailing across the Pacific and collecting valuable data as she went. Among her many talents, she was an amazing communicator and editor. We will always keep her in our hearts and miss her dearly.”
- Lindsay Bonito, Kate Furby, Maggie Johnson, Jill Harris, Levi Lewis, Mike Fox, Susan Kram, Cara Simonsen

Rachel’s passing is a tremendous loss to Scripps Oceanography and the entire UC San Diego community.