Graduate Student at UCLA interested in studying the effects of multiple anthropogenic stressors on marine ecosystems using eDNA, metagenomics, next generation sequencing, and autonomous reef monitoring structures. 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.
UCLA- Doctoral Student, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Professor Paul Barber’s Group
Stanford University – 3.76 GPA, B.S. in Marine Biology, Minor in Environmental Systems Engineering | Class of 2015
Honors Thesis Research with Professor Stephen Palumbi, Stanford University, CA Summer 2013-June 2015
Researching the growth of thermally sensitive and thermally resilient Acropora hyacinthus in two back reefs of American Samoa with distinct thermal regimes. I measured, photographed, and conducted photo analysis of 140 colonies from 2010 to 2014. I mapped corals using ArcGIS, assisted researchers taking temperature, pH, and light measurements, and conducted qPCR experiments to identify coral symbionts. Field research conducted over the summer of 2013 and December 2014 in Ofu, American Samoa. Continuing research throughout senior year for an Honors Thesis.
Research Assistant with Richard Feely and Nina Bednarsek, NOAA PMEL, Seattle, WA Summer 2014
Researched calcification, dissolution, and respiration of pteropods in response to decreased aragonite concentration states off the Coast of Washington and Oregon from 2013 NOAA cruise samples. Compared pteropod responses to average percent water column of undersaturation JSCOPE forecast model outputs of July-August 2013 to begin to create a biologically relevant index capable of forecasting pteropod stress. Conducted respirometry experiments, and calcein staining of pteropods on 2014 Hood Canal Cruise, designed methods on calcification image analysis using Image J software, created biologically relevant indices of aragonite undersaturation, and produced time series analysis of ocean chemistry from mooring data and maps of aragonite undersaturation using Matlab software.
Research Assistant to Professor Stephen Palumbi, Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, CA Summer 2012
Assisted designing and implementing a research experiment on the long-term effects of ocean acidification on marine calcifying organisms. The experiment compared the growth rates of 20 inter/subtidal benthic invertebrate species in acidified and standard ocean pH conditions. In charge of identifying and collecting organisms, maintenance and upkeep of tanks and organisms, monitoring pH and temperature of tanks, and measuring the mass and length of the organisms.
AAUS Scientific Diver, Monterey, CA Summer 2012-present
Certified research diver. Assisted five research projects at Hopkins Marine Station. CPR, First Aid certified Rescue Diver
Completed 36 scientific dives and over 50 dives in Monterey, Belize, Mexico, Hawaii, Catalina, and Santa Monica Bay. Conducted fish and algal transects, invasive species removal, underwater navigation, kelp holdfast ecology, underwater equipment placement and movement, and trained in first aid and CPR as a PADI certified Rescue Diver.
Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Teaching Assistant and Docent June 2012 – June 2015
Help provide field education opportunities and increase community awareness of the work done at the Preserve by leading tours and assisting with research efforts at Jasper Ridge. Teaching Assistant and course organizer of the Ecology and Natural History of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Course in Winter and Spring quarters of 2015.
TA for The Global Warming Paradox, Assistant Professor Noah Diffenbaugh Fall Quarter 2012
Helped students design and plan research projects focused on creating innovative solutions to climate change, grading, commenting, and encouraging further thought and discussion on student blog post assignments. Encouraged students to go above and beyond the course to reduce the Stanford community’s carbon emissions.
Teaching Assistant for Photographing Nature Winter Quarter 2013 & Fall Quarter 2014
Taught photography skills and science and conservation communication, took students on weekly field trips to learn wildlife photography and the biology and ecology of the Bay area. Audio and video technician for the course.
California State Park Ocean Lifeguard, Ventura and Monterey, CA Summers of 2011-2013
Full time 2011 summer lifeguard for Ventura District State Parks. Conducted 11 ocean rescues and dozens of first aid responses. Completed 80-hour California State Park Lifeguard Academy. Graduated #1 and voted MVP in June 2011 Rookie School. Part time 2012 summer lifeguard for Monterey District as an instructor in the Junior Lifeguard program teaching ocean awareness, marine biology, environmental protection, ocean fitness, and extensive lifesaving training.
Graphic Design and Videographer Assistant to Steve Palumbi Spring 2014 - Spring 2015
Helped create graphic designs and videos for Steve Paulmbi’s 2014 TEDx Stanford presentation.
Stanford Aquatics Lifeguard Winter 2012-Fall 2014
Red Cross advanced first aid and CPR certified.
Students for a Sustainable Stanford Co-president & Water Group Sub Leader, Stanford University, CA 2012 - 2015
Promoting sustainability in the Stanford community and across campus through advocacy, education, and service projects with a focus on water conservation and water resource protection on Stanford campus. Designed and implemented 1,200 gallon rainwater harvesting systems at two dormitories to supply gardens with sustainable water source, installed a water bottle filling station in the student union, helped developed the Stanford Leak Reporter iphone application to improve water fixture repair effectiveness on campus, and competed in the EPA Rainwater Design Challenge to create storm water improvement project on Stanford campus. Held the annual Stephen Schneider Memorial Lecture with speakers such as Al Gore and Lisa Jackson. Put on quarterly campus wide sustainability fairs to raise awareness on pertinent environmental issues and bring together the diverse range of environmental and social action groups on campus to present a unified voice on important environmental issues. Currently working with Stanford faculty to create a strategic environmental plan and establish campus sustainability goals for 2050.
Student Representative to the Searsville Advisory Committee Winter 2013- June 2015
Participant in large inter-agency advisory committee to Stanford University tasked with determining the preferred outcome for the Stanford Searsville dam. Evaluating ecological, economic, and social and historical repercussions of dam removal, complete sedimentation, and flood control. Will help determine the fate of the San Francisquito watershed for the next half-century.
Student and Alumni Representative to Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility & Licensing
Chair of Human Rights Committee Spring 2013-present
Work with faculty, administrative staff, and the Stanford Management Company to research, evaluate, and advise the Stanford Board of Trustees on responsible investment of the endowment. Appointed by the undergraduate senate.
Green Living Council Projects Coordinator, Stanford University, CA Fall 2011 – Winter 2013
Promoted sustainable living practices in the Stanford community by designing, facilitating, and implementing environmental projects across campus. Promoted water and energy conservation through an annual campus wide Water and Energy Wars competition, and improved recycling and composting by installing over a thousand educational recycling stickers on bins across campus, which helped push Stanford to over 64% waste diversion.
Media Coordinator for Fossil Free Stanford Fall 2013- Spring 2014
A leader of Fossil Free Stanford, a student club with the goal of raising awareness on climate change around campus and the ultimate goal to divest Stanford from fossil fuel investments. Helped design and operate Fossil Free Stanford’s social media and website, club photographer, and media liaison.
AWARDS AND HONORS
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program, 2015. Recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions
- UCLA Graduate Dean’s Scholar Award. The goal of this program is to enhance UCLA’s success in recruiting the most highly qualified doctoral students.
- NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, 2013. The scholarship is intended to increase undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science and research and recruit and prepare students for public service careers with NOAA.
- Moris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Scholarship, 2014, and 2013 Honorable Mention. The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment
- Harry S. Truman Scholarship Finalist, 2014. The Truman Scholarship awards juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service.
- Marine Technology Society Undergraduate Scholarship, June 2012. The scholarship is intended for students in marine science or technology who have a particular interest/focus in marine instrumentation.
- Growth Patterns and Life History Strategies of Thermally Resilient and Susceptible Acropora hyacinthus species. Honors Thesis. 2015
- Presenter at Stanford Honors Thesis Symposium 2015. Growth Patterns and Life History Strategies of Thermally Resilient and Susceptible Acropora hyacinthus species. Stanford University. May 16th, 2015.
- Presenter at the NOAA Hollings 2014 Symposium. Forecasting Ocean Acidification and Pteropod Calcification off the Washington and Oregon Coast. NOAA Headquarters in Silverspring, Maryland. August 8th, 2014.
- Presenter at Stanford and Palau International Coral Reef Center Symposium. Macrobioeroder Density As a Bioindicator for Chronic Water Quality Pollution. Palau International Coral Reef Center, Palau. July 23rd, 2013.
- Presenter at University of Queensland Targeted Research Project Symposium. Coral Recruitment in Moreton Bay. University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia. November 25th, 2013.
- Presenter at the Joint Stanford University and Sea Education Association Symposium. Algal, Coral, and Reef herbivore Observations across a Predator Overfishing and nutrient Regime Axis. SSV Robert C. Seamans off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii. June 11th, 2013.
- Presenter at Stanford Alumni Galapagos Seminar. Overfishing in the Galapagos Marine Reserve: A focus on Sea Cucumber, Lobster, and Shark Finning. La Pinta, Galapagos. September 15th, 2012.
- Presenter at Hopkins Marine Station Conservation Lecture Series. Giving up the Bacon: Protecting the Ocean by Going Vegetarian. Hopkins Marine Station, California. June 5th 2014.
- Presenter of Poster at the US EPA National Beaches Conference March 2011 in Miami, Florida. “Santa Monica Beach Pollution: High School Designed and Implemented Water Quality Monitoring Program”
- Environmental DNA Working Group Meeting and eDNA Bioinformatics and Analysis Workshop, Bangor University, Wales, September 2015. Focus on Environmental DNA for rapid assessment of biodiversity and conservation planning. Trained in the latest eDNA and bioinformatics techniques directed by metagenomic experts from across North America and Europe.
Introduction to R in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Professor Michael Alfaro Fall 2015
Provided a foundation for skills in scientific programming in the R environment.
The Corals of Palau: Ecology, the Physical Environment, and Reefs at Risk Course, Prof. Robert Dunbar June 2013
Research on the abundance and biodiversity of bioeroders in impacted and pristine reefs. Focus on coastal management and marine protection from the Palauan President and top coral researchers of Palau. Preparing paper for journal submission.
Stanford at SEA, Sailing Quarter Abroad round trip from Honolulu to North Line Islands, Prof. Block Spring 2013
Research project on the effects herbivory and nutrients on coral reef community structure. Analyzed benthic cover using Coral Point Count and conducted herbivore abundance transects and focal follows to quantify herbivory. Introduction to the field of marine biology from a variety of experts from MBARI, NOAA, and Woods Hole.
Stanford in Australia Abroad Program, Professor Kevin Arrigo Fall 2013
Coral Reef Ecosystems course on ecology, coral physiology, taxonomy, oceanography, environmental threats and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Freshwater Ecosystems and Management course on the effects of urban and agricultural runoff on coastal and riverine ecosystems, the adoption of integrated water management and water sensitive design. Research Project on the recruitment of scleractinian corals in marginal environment of Moreton Bay.
Introduction to Physical Oceanography, Professor Derek Fong Winter 2013
Calculus based introduction to oceanic physics with a specific focus on Coriolis effects, geostrophy, thermohaline circulation, Ekman transport, Sverdrup theory, vorticity, heat flux, ENSO, tides, and waves.
Environmental Health Microbiology Lab, Professor Alexandria Boehm Spring 2012
Used analytic techniques in microbiology including membrane filtration, cell plating, PCR, and gel electrophoresis. Project on water quality of the upper San Francisquito watershed. Assisted Santa Cruz water quality project.
Open Space Management Practicum Winter 2015
Provide students with skills and experience in research design in conservation biology and ecology, community and stakeholder engagement, land use policy and planning, and the practical aspects of land and environmental management.
The Global Warming Paradox, Professor Noah Diffenbaugh Fall 2011
Focussed on the effects of global warming and the myriad of solutions from creating behavioral change using social media to implementing cap and trade systems to reduce green house gas emissions. Worked with California State Legislators, Google Social Media Experts, and local climate focused non-profits.
Lab Skills: DNA extraction, qPCR, RFLP, Idexx Standard Methods Fecal Indicator Bacteria enumeration, calcein staining, pteropod respirometry, organism dissection
Field Skills: Benthic cover analysis, Fish ID Surveys, plankton trawling, CTD & Aragonite Saturation measurements, organism collection, AAUS scientific research diver, +1,000 hours lifetime snorkeling.
Computational Skills: ArcGIS, MatLab, Image J photo analysis, R statistical language, Python, Coral Point Count with Excel extensions, Excel, Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture.