- Research Program Mentor
MS at University of Maine
Marine biology, ecology, aquaculture, fisheries, field and laboratory studies
BioI started my career teaching environmental and marine science in the Florida Keys during and after my college years. In addition to conducting classes for students and summer campers from the shoreline and from flat top marine vessels, I also instructed campers in basic data collection using SCUBA as a research tool. My working experience in marine biology include field research conducting surveys of pigmentation changes in seagrass beds in the Keys, sea turtle nesting surveys on the Florida coastline, and aquaculture techniques for growing Atlantic salmon for the USDA. My master's research assistantship at the University of Maine was at a cold water aquaculture facility. There, I analyzed both land- and sea-based methods for culturing the green sea urchin, an important commercial and ecological species in Maine. I am now working at the University of North Carolina, where I'm conducting research concerning the connections between autoimmune disease and atherosclerosis, further adding to my understanding of laboratory research practices and data analysis. My personal interests include SCUBA, true crime podcasts, baking, and finding weird animal facts. Having grown up on the coast of Florida, I love anything pertaining to the beach, and I was a competitive swimmer for around 6 years. I'm excited to join the Polygence mentoring team because I love to share my knowledge with anyone who is interested in learning about marine and environmental science, and communicating with younger people to create and encourage interest in STEM careers is one of the most important parts of being in this field.
Assessing the effects of current aquaculture endeavors on the state of shellfish harvests in Southwestern Florida
There are currently several commercially important shellfish species being cultured and harvested on the Southwestern coast of Florida. Using resources from the Florida Division of Aquaculture, Food Safety Division, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and commercial websites, produce a review paper describing the scope and environmental and financial impacts of shellfish aquaculture in Florida. Possible topics can include commercially important species, culture and harvesting techniques, categorization and description of various commercial harvests, and possible ecological effects in this region of Florida.