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Bernadette Holthuis

  • BS, Zoology, University of California at Davis
  • Ph.D., Zoology, University of Washington

Bernadette Holthuis is a biologist with an interest in education and outreach in marine sciences. The daughter of Dutch immigrants, she grew up in California, first landing on San Juan Island at the age of 21, as a University of Washington graduate student attending classes at UW Friday Harbor Labs. Her graduate research took her to the tropical Pacific, where she lived on various islands before settling on Guam with her husband, biologist Gustav Paulay. There she raised three daughters and completed her Ph.D. Seeking to provide her girls with a broad, experiential education that included extensive travel, she homeschooled them during their nine years on Guam and later when they moved to Florida. She taught children’s science classes at the Florida Museum of Natural History and worked in outreach at the University of Florida’s Whitney Marine Lab, regularly returning to Friday Harbor in the summers to work at the UW Labs. During a 2011 sabbatical spent at the Labs, Bernadette and Gustav enrolled their youngest daughter, Anamika, at Spring Street – where she thrived for 8th grade. Three years later, Bernadette took a full-time position at the Labs and the family moved to the island, where Anamika returned to Spring Street to complete her last 1 1/2 years of high school (class of 2016).