Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?
I specialize in studying the impact of large predators on ecosystems, as well as the responses of populations to anthropogenic effects. I am most interested in what species inhabit different parts of the ocean, how they interact with one another, and how they are affected by human factors. Mostly, I am interested in finding out which species are under threat, then understanding them as well as possible in order to protect them.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
My interest in the ocean began before I could make long-term memories. Growing up I spent as much time as I could in the sea, and I watched nature documentaries about the sea when I couldn't be in it. Since then I have received a degree in Biological Sciences, spent years in laboratories, and participated in numerous field expeditions.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
My parents and family assisted me whenever they could, and always encouraged me.
What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?
I find it amazing that there is a place so different, and so filled with spectacular creatures waiting for anyone willing to go below sea level. There's something special about feeling like a visitor in your own world.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I have been fortunate enough to intern with marine research projects around the world, to work for Rutgers Universtiy as a marine research technician, and to work as a technician for the Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. I am now examining and writing up the research I conducted during my time there in hopes of submitting my first journal publication examining the effects of shark protection on local species.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Ba in Biological Sciences from Connecticut College, 2016. Emergency first responder. PADI rescue diver. Certified boat driver.
What are your hobbies?
My favorite hobbies include SCUBA and free diving. Sailing/ kayaking/paddleboarding, photography, guitar, wood and metal work, cooking, and telling people not to use single-use plastic.
What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?
To learn as much as you can about anything and everything. Know as much as you can about what you love, and use every opportunity to gain new skills. Also, remember that no one achieves their dreams working alone- find the people who you can help you, and when the time comes make sure you can help whoever you can. And most of all, the damage caused by many people can sometimes be reversed by an individual.