I am a PhD candidate at UCLA studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Paul Barber's Lab. I'm currently researching the effects of multiple human stressors on marine ecosystems using environmental DNA, next generation sequencing, and autonomous reef monitoring structures. The main focus of my PhD is to use novel eDNA tools to comprehensively survey marine biodiversity inside and outside of Southern California's marine protected area network to understand how different management strategies and urbanization effect our local marine ecosystems. I am also using eDNA to investigate human impacts across the Pulau Seribu archipelago, fish biodiversity across the Coral Triangle, rapid detection of endangered fairy shrimp from vernal pools, and the development of bioinformatics and data analysis tools. In addition, I am researching the basic science of eDNA investigating marine residence time as well as spatial and temporal variability in both coral reef and kelp forest ecosystems as a part of the CALeDNA team. I have a background in coral reef research and marine policy, and hope to gain more experience at the intersection of research and policy, with a focus on understanding the interplay of local (pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction) and global (climate change and ocean acidification) stressors on marine ecosystems. I received a B.S. in Marine Biology with Honors from Stanford University in 2015 studying the growth patterns of thermally resilient Acropora hyacinthus under Professor Stephen Palumbi. As an avid surfer, former ocean lifeguard, Life Aquatic fan, and scientific scuba diver growing up Santa Monica, I have a deep passion for the marine environment and its protection from environmental impacts.
My passion for biology and protecting the environment inspired me to become an avid nature and conservation photographer. As a National Geographic Young Explorer I strive to use photography to communicate my science. Whether it's scuba diving in tropical reefs or backpacking in the Sierras, I strive to capture the fascinating beauty and function of our vital ecosystems and the environmental impacts that threaten them. I also get stoked taking pictures of cities, signs, and the beautiful world around us.
As a long time environmental advocate with a deep passion for protecting our vital ecosystems and promoting environmental justice, I am a strong supporter of science based policy and individual action to address the rising threats climate change, ocean acidification, marine debris, food and water security, overfishing, habitat degradation, and pollution. I am pursuing a Leadership in Sustainability Certificate through the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA.