About the Authors

Current Oceanbites Authors

Oceanbites is made possible by passionate marine science graduate students and post-grads from around the world who are dedicated to making scientific research accessible to broad audiences. Scroll down to learn more about the team; click on an author to see their recent posts!

Aditi TripathyAditi Tripathy

Hello! I received my B.S. Marine Biology with a minor in Acoustics at the University of Rhode Island. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student at the University of New Hampshire with a research focus on underwater acoustics. Whenever I am not furiously making my way to classes, I enjoy watching Doctor Who, fawning over pandas, and eating pie.

Anastasia YandulskayaAnastasia Yandulskaya

I am a PhD candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. I study regeneration of the nervous system in water salamanders called axolotls. In my free time, I like to read science fiction, bake, go on walks around Boston, and dig up cool science articles.

Andrea SchlunkAndrea Schlunk

I am a former PhD student from the University of Rhode Island, having discovered my love of teaching and informal science education in part through OceanBites! Since departing academia, I've focused on creating educational content for students at the New England Aquarium and Chincoteague Bay Field Station. I've also dabbled in co-creating a science podcast, ThunkTink, that will continue production in late 2019.

Anna RobuckAnna Robuck

I am a third year PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Lohmann Lab. My current research interests include environmental chemistry, water quality, as well as coastal and seabird ecology. When not in the lab, I enjoy diving, surfing, and hanging out with my dog Gypsy.

Anne M. HartwellAnne M. Hartwell

Hello, welcome to Oceanbites! My name is Annie, I'm a marine research scientist who has been lucky to have had many roles in my neophyte career, including graduate student, laboratory technician, research associate, and adjunct faculty.  Research topics I've been involved with are paleoceanographic nutrient cycling, lake and marine geochemistry,  biological oceanography, and exploration. My favorite job as a scientist is working in the laboratory and the field because I love interacting with my research!  Some of my favorite field memories are diving 3000-m in ALVIN in 2014, getting to drive Jason while he was on the seafloor in 2017, and learning how to generate high resolution bathymetric maps during a hydrographic field course in 2019!

Ashley MarranzinoAshley Marranzino

I received my Master's degree from the University of Rhode Island where I studied the sensory biology of deep-sea fishes. I am now working with the South Carolina DNR at Waddell Mariculture Center, working on enhancing stocks of marine fishes. I am fascinated by the amazing animals living in our oceans and love exploring their habitats in any way I can.

Brandy BiggarBrandy Biggar

I am a 2nd year Master's student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am researching the highly invasive species the European green crab, and the impact extreme weather events has on its population abundance and distribution.

Carolyn WheelerCarolyn Wheeler

I am currently a PhD student studying marine science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with my research based at the New England Aquarium. My research interests center around conservation physiology of fishes, particularly sharks, in relation to climate change. I have a passion for scientific outreach and communication with my biggest triumph being my participation in an hour long science-based episode of Shark Week 2016 entitled Tiger Beach. In my spare time I like getting outside hiking, rock climbing, diving, and practicing my yoga headstands.

Carrie McDonoughCarrie McDonough

I am the founder of oceanbites, and a postdoctoral fellow in the Higgins Lab at Colorado School of Mines, where I study poly- and perfluorinated chemicals. I got my Ph.D. in the Lohmann Lab at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, where my research focused on how toxic chemicals like flame retardants end up in our lakes and oceans. Before graduate school, I earned a B.Sc. in chemistry from MIT and spent two years in environmental consulting. When I'm not doing chemistry in the lab, I'm doing chemistry at home (brewing beer).

Channing PrendChanning Prend

I'm a physical oceanography PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I use a combination of numerical models, observations, and remote sensing to investigate the role of the ocean in climate. I'm particularly interested in Southern Ocean dynamics, including air-sea-ice interactions and physical controls on biogeochemistry.

Constance SartorConstance Sartor

Constance is a graduate student at the University of Guam studying coral genetics. She also paints murals integrating art and science at various aquariums and scientific institutions (IG: @coco.paints).

Diana FontaineDiana Fontaine

I am a first year PhD student in the Rynearson Lab studying Biological Oceanography at the Graduate School of Oceanography (URI). Broadly, I am using genetic techniques to study phytoplankton diversity. I am interested in understanding how environmental stressors associated with climate change affect phytoplankton community dynamics and thus, overall ecosystem function. Prior to working in the Rynearson lab, I spent two years as a plankton analyst in the Marine Invasions Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) studying phytoplankton in ballast water of cargo ships and gaining experience with phytoplankton taxonomy and culturing techniques.

Emily ChuaEmily Chua

I am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University where I am developing an underwater instrument to study the coastal ocean.  I have a multi-disciplinary background in physics and oceanography (and some engineering), and my academic interests lie in using novel sensors and deployment platforms to study the ocean.  When I'm not engaged in scholarly pursuits, you can find me in the boxing gym or cycling around Boston.

Eric OrensteinEric Orenstein

Eric is a PhD student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research in the Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging focuses on developing methods to quantitatively label image data coming from the Scripps Plankton Camera System. When not science-ing, Eric can be found surfing, canoeing, or trying to learn how to cook.

Erin McLeanErin McLean

Hi and welcome to oceanbites! I recently finished my master's degree at URI, focusing on lobsters and how they respond metabolically to ocean acidification projections. I did my undergrad at Boston University and majored in English and Marine Sciences - a weird combination, but a scientist also has to be a good writer! When I'm not researching, I'm cooking or going for a run or kicking butt at trivia competitions. Check me out on Twitter @glassysquid for more ocean and climate change related conversation!

Grace CasselberryGrace Casselberry

I am currently a Marine Science and Technology Doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I use acoustic and satellite telemetry to study the spatial ecology of lemon, nurse, Caribbean reef, and tiger sharks in St. Croix to better understand habitat selection, residency, and connectivity between the protected areas and areas open to fishing. I am broadly interested in the intersection of marine animal movement, particularly elasmobranchs, with fisheries management. In my free time you can find me curled up with a good book and a cup of tea or outside exploring with Deacon, the goofiest Irish setter in Massachusetts.

Jasmin GrahamJasmin Graham

I am a Masters student in Biological Sciences at Florida State University. I received my B.S. in Marine Biology and B.A. in Spanish at the College of Charleston where I did a Bachelor's Essay on the evolution of hammerhead sharks. For my current project I am tracking the movements of adult Smalltooth Sawfish along the coast of Florida. I also have an interest in coastal conservation and environmental education.

Julia ZehJulia Zeh

I am a second-year PhD student at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses on analyzing underwater recordings of whale calls in order to better understand whale behavior. I'm also interested in education, outreach, and science communication. When I'm not listening to whale sounds, you can find me curled up with a good book or complaining about how much it snows in Syracuse.

Julia DohnerJulia Dohner

Julia is a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Her focus is on biogeochemistry, which, as the name suggests, centers on the combined effects of biological, geological and chemical processes on the earth system. She is advised by Dr. Ralph Keeling and is modeling the global carbon cycle to better understand how much carbon dioxide ends up in the atmosphere. When not at her computer writing code, Julia can usually be found reading and/or thinking about food.

Karla HaiatKarla Haiat

I'm an Undergraduate student at University of Rhode Island majoring in Ocean Engineering and Marine Biology. I'm interested in the intersection between technology, biology and ocean exploration, as well as the application of such research to solve human problems.

I am also an advocate for shark conservation. Sharks have the unfortunate reputation of being man-eating monsters because of their portrayal in the media, and through human fear they have become some of the most vulnerable species on earth. My goal is to spread information about the importance of sharks to the balance of the ocean ecosystem, which directly affects the balance of the rest of the world. It's a priority to learn to coexist, and protect our ocean and the future of our planet.

Katherine BarrettKatherine Barrett

Kate is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Notre Dame, and holds a Masters in Environmental Science & Biology from SUNY Brockport. She studies the ecology of benthic (bottom) algae in the Great Salt Lake, Utah, in particular how this resource is important to the overall food. Outside of lab and field work, she enjoys running and kickboxing.

Kristin HuizengaKristin Huizenga

I am a PhD student studying Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My interests are in food webs, ecology, and the interaction of humans and the ocean, whether that is in the form of fishing, pollution, climate change, or simply how we view the ocean. I am currently researching the decline of cancer crabs and lobsters in the Narragansett Bay.

Laura ZinkeLaura Zinke

I am a PhD student studying sediment geomicrobiology at the University of Southern California. My primary research interests lie deep under the sea studying how microorganisms survive in dark environments and how they interact with chemical cycles in sediment and on earth. When I surface from my studies, I enjoy backpacking, trying to mimic my ridiculous dog, and applying my laboratory techniques in the kitchen.

LeAundra JeffsLeAundra Jeffs

I am a Master’s Candidate at University of Delaware where I study the evolution of microbes in the sediments where rivers meet the ocean. Organisms in these sediments, Asgard archaea, could be the link between early microbes and the evolution of advanced life: AKA everything you can see with your eyes! Outside of biology, I love to write. I even wrote for a music magazine in my home town for 6 years. Writing for Oceanbites provides an opportunity to combine my passion for science with my zeal for writing. When I'm not in the lab, I am outdoors, whether its running a nature trail, backpacking, or rowing with my team.

Matthew LarsenMatthew Larsen
I am a second year master's student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of large marine megafauna with a central focus on elasmobranchs. When not working directly on or assisting with research, I try to focus on increasing scientific communication for marine causes. In my free time, I try to be on the water or hidden away reading.
Megan ChenMegan Chen

I graduated with a Masters of Coastal & Marine Management from the University of Akureyri in Iceland, and am currently working at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Ocean Education. I am interested in smart and feasible ocean solutions, especially in fisheries management, and the incredible adaptations marine life has come up with. In my spare time, I like to stargaze, watch talks on random topics and explore different corners of the world.

Melanie FeenMelanie Feen

I am a first year graduate student at the Graduate School of Oceanography at University of Rhode Island. I use robots and satellites to research the biological carbon pump, which is a series of processes that transfer carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the deep ocean where the carbon is stored for long periods of time. I am particularly interested in the use of oxygen measurements to better understand how much carbon-containing material is produced by phytoplankton, tiny marine organisms, and is available for transport to the deep ocean. Learning about how much carbon the ocean stores through these processes is important to improve predictions about how climate change will impact the ocean.

Nyla HusainNyla Husain

I'm a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I use models to study how small-scale physical processes at the air-sea interface - like waves - impact wind stress, or air-sea momentum transfer. Wind stress encompasses a range of scales, generating everything from surface ripples to planetary waves, driving coastal currents and ocean circulation, and influencing weather and climate. In the future, I hope to learn more about the role waves plays in the variability of the ocean and atmosphere. Also, I love to write.

Oliver ShipleyOliver Shipley

I am a second year PhD student at Stony Brook University, New York. I received my B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Newcastle University, UK, in Marine Biology and International Marine Environmental Consultancy. My current research focuses on the use of marine tracers (stable isotopes and contaminants) and biotelemetry devices to discern trophic behaviors of marine predators, across broad spatial scales. My passion for outreach stemmed from working at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, a remote field station in The Bahamas, where I taught four semesters of elasmobranch-focused research class to high school students.

R J ParkerR J Parker

Hi! I'm Rebecca Parker. I'm an ecologist and plant lover working in non-profit conservation in Nova Scotia Canada. I trained at Dalhousie and Ryerson University, where I completed a Masters in Environmental Science and Management. I like botany, wetlands, and wetland botany! On the sciencey side, I like to write about current topics in population and community ecology, but I'm also really interested in how environmental outreach programs are assessed for success, how exposure to science and demographics affect environmental values and behaviours, and best practices for building community capacity in environmental stewardship. Check out my instagram @beckusminimus for photos of the awesome nature I see through my work.

Rebecca FlynnRebecca Flynn

I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I now work in southwest Florida, contributing to the management of an estuary. I am fascinated by the wonders of nature, the land-sea interface, ecology and human disturbance (and solutions!). On a personal level, I am a chocoholic, love to travel and be outside, and relax by reading or spending time with my emotionally needy dogs!

Rishya NarayananRishya Narayanan

Rishya is pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Science Communications and Media Advocacy at Northeastern University and has a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology. She has extensively worked at the New England Aquarium as an Educator and at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay as their Communications and Public Relations Coordinator. Currently, she works as a Graduate Research Assistant examining communications on climate resilience in coastal communities.

Samantha SettaSamantha Setta

I'm a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). Broadly, my research interests are focused on human impacts on the oceanic ecosystem, particularly effects on the primary producers (phytoplankton) at the base of the food web. Specifically, my interests include phytoplankton ecology and physiology, especially relating to stressors of nutrient limitation, pollutants and human impacts. I am also interested in using molecular analyses for studies of environmental distributions within different phytoplankton functional groups and highlight differences between organisms in culture experiments. Currently, I work with cultures from regions of the ocean that are nutrient limited and will conduct laboratory experiments to help investigate how these phytoplankton survive.

Sandra SchleierSandra Schleier

Hola mi nombre es Sandra Schleier. Soy graduada de la Universidad de Rhode Island con una Maestría enfocada en la restauración de corales en el Caribe. Actualmente soy la traductora del inglés al español de Ocean Bites con la meta de expandir nuestro alcance a los públicos que hablan español. Me encanta bucear, viajar y tomar fotos.

Hello my name is Sandra Schleier. I am a Master's graduate from the University of Rhode Island. My research focused on coral restoration in the Caribbean. I am currently the english to spanish translator at Ocean Bites with the goal of expanding our reach to a spanish-speaking audience. I love to dive, travel, and take pictures!

Sierra GarciaSierra Garcia

Sierra is a master's student in Stanford University's Earth Systems department studying science and environmental communication. Her bachelors degree was also in Earth Systems, with an emphasis on oceans and climate, which took her from Australia to South Africa to French Polynesia and Kiribati. She is from Monterey, California.

Sydney HarnedSydney Harned

I graduated from the University of Miami with a B.S. in marine science and biology, and am now pursuing a masters in biology at Nova Southeastern University, where I am a researcher at the Save Our Seas Shark Center. My work focuses mainly on shark population genetics and conservation biology of apex predators. I absolutely love all things sharks! When I'm not in the lab, I love scuba diving, riding my bike and hanging out with my cat!

Theresa BellaTheresa Bella

I graduated from Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco in Fishing Engineering. Currently, I am an intern at University of Hawaii. I am interested in marine megafauna, especially sharks. When I am not collecting data for my research, I like to be in the ocean surfing and scuba diving.

Tyler PlumTyler Plum

I'm a marine ecologist-in-training and Master's student at Nova Southeastern University's Guy Harvey Research Institute in Fort Lauderdale, FL. My research focuses on how environmental factors drive changes in open-ocean fish communities, especially in sharks and billfish. I'm interested in science communication, shark and ray ecology, and endangered fish conservation, as well as resource policy, fisheries science, and the human dimensions of fisheries management.

Victoria TreadawayVictoria Treadaway

I am a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. I am an atmospheric chemist studying organic acids in the troposphere to better understand their role in ozone processing. I flew on a Gulfstream V and a C-130 all in the name of science!

Zak KerriganZak Kerrigan

I am a fifth year doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. I work in the D'Hondt Lab and I am using genetic techniques to determine the community structure and evolution of deep-sea sediment bacteria. I am also a scuba instructor with the University of Rhode Island Dive Safety Program. I earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Miami and spent 12 years in the US Navy driving submarines before coming back to grad school.

Zoe GentesZoe Gentes

Zoe has an M.S. in Oceanography and a B.S. in Geologic Oceanography from URI, with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. She was recently a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the US House of Representatives, and now work at Consortium for Ocean Leadership. When not writing and editing, Zoe enjoys rowing, rock climbing, skiing, and reading.

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