I obtained my Bachelors in Science in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology at California State University, Monterey Bay in 2017. I began my post undergraduate career in research as a Lab Technician for Dr. Arlene Haffa at CSUMB studying organic alternatives to fumigants in the Salinas Valley and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. I padded out my work experience by also working as a Seasonal Wildlife Technician at the SPCA for Monterey County, and eventually came to volunteer at SLEWTHS (Science, Learning, and Exploration with the Help of Sea Lions). It was volunteering at SLEWTHS that led me to apply to the Vertebrate Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Labs under Dr. Gitte McDonald. Working with marine mammals awakened a keen interest in the behavioral and physiological adaptations these animals have. Adaptations which allow them to thrive in harsh environments such as on deep ocean dives or under the Antarctic pack ice.
My research interests include comparative diving physiology and behavioral regulation of oxygen loading and nitrogen gas offloading which allows marine mammals to fine tune their bodies’ dive response based on their planned dive. Additionally, I am interested in specialized blubber adaptations which allow Antarctic species to survive extreme cold, how they may differ from more tropical species. I hope that my future research endeavors may serve to inform us of the unique biology of many marine mammals, and how human’s may be impacting even remote area like the Antarctic.