Lab webpage: forthcoming
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Undergrad: Marine Biology, Zoology and a minor in Scientific Diving from Humboldt State University in December 2012
Q: Why did you decide to pursue marine science?
Growing up in the landlocked state of Missouri instills in one the idea that the ocean is a mysterious “delicacy” if you will, in that you only see it on vacations. Generally, Midwesterners tend to fear the ocean completely or are enchanted by it. I chose the latter.
Q: What experiences and opportunities have shaped your path to get you where you are now?
I was certified to SCUBA dive when I was 16. That certification really only allowed me to accomplish 6 dives, 5 of which was in a tiny lake 4 hours away with maybe 2 feet of visibility. These factors somehow didn’t deter me from my budding new interest of diving. I chose to run off to Humboldt State and got involved in their really intensive, rigorous dive program. The program is very demanding but equally rewarding. It trained me to be ready for everything underwater from being blind folded and locating a toy army man using search pattern techniques in a pool to leaping sideways over massive urchin beds as a dive entry. I have since worked in Alaska and was dry suit and full face mask certified and did a bunch of technical diving. That opened up a job for me on Catalina working as the aquarium collector in which I had to devise obscure methods to humanely capture specimen for the aquarium there. My point in all this is that Diving. Is. Awesome. I fully believe that it should be the first step to any marine science research idea. Studying something in a lab is important but what better way to learn than to study things in their natural environment?
Q: What are you studying and why is it interesting and important to you?
I will be working with Ivano Aiello and Diana Steller to inspect the intake pipes in the bay. The pipes are either sinking below the sediment or the sediment is accumulating over them, blocking the water supply. My job is to figure out what ecologically is happening to the sediment around these intake pipes. This idea is at the very beginning stages of development so stay tuned!
Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get in to marine science?
I would say pay attention in your undergrad classes! Stop falling asleep because the information you’re receiving WILL be useful in the future. So next time you’re dozing off in Genetics because who really cares what the Lac operon does anyway, snap out of it!