Why did you choose to study / research marine science?
What else would anyone ever want to do with their career? I chose to study marine science because the ocean is full of species that are somehow both ancient but also constantly adapting to environments that would feel as foreign and harsh to humans as outer space. I just want the chance to try and disentangle some of the complexities of marine systems, especially those that are ecologically important like coral reefs. It’s exciting to think that now might the best time in history to study the ocean since we are in an age of accelerating technology that allows us to explore areas that have previously never been accessed by humans.
What is your research project about?
I study how hydrodynamic regimes influence the distribution and ecology of deep-sea reefs. Using benthic landers, which record time series of environmental characteristics like temperature, turbidity, water chemistry, and organic material, I look for patterns that can be related to ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, and how these patterns can influence potential benefits and/or stress conditions on a reef. I also look at small-scale flow patterns by running currents across coral skeletons in an experimental flume, which can help us understand things like food delivery and gamete export in different types of flow conditions.
Interesting fact about yourself?
I once had a short-lived career as a SCUBA instructor during college and I continue to dive regularly with over 600 dives under my belt.