Our 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 and click on an author to see their recent posts!

avatar for Allison NobleAllison Noble

I am a research technician at the Lousiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). I earned my M.S. in Marine Biology from Northeastern University, where I researched passive acoustic monitoring in the National Estuarine Research Reserve system. My research interests center on the role of acoustic communication in coastal ecology, especially in predator-prey interactions. When not in the lab, I can be found running, swimming, or doing every puzzle I can get my hands on.

avatar for Alyssa PietraszekAlyssa Pietraszek

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Marine Geosciences at the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa. My research focuses on sea-level rise and coastline changes, specifically identifying geomorphological and sedimentological indicators of past sea levels along the Mediterranean coast of Israel. In my free time, I enjoy scuba diving, traveling, and reading.

avatar for Amanda SemlerAmanda Semler

I'm a PhD candidate in Earth System Science at Stanford University, and I study how microbes in deep ocean sediments produce and consume greenhouse gases. I'm a native of the landlocked state of Minnesota, so I've always been fascinated by the ocean. When I'm not in the lab, I love to race triathlons, forward “The Onion” articles to friends and family, and hike with my hound dog Banjo.

avatar for 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 fascinated by the amazing animals living in our oceans and love exploring their habitats in any way I can, whether it is by SCUBA diving in coral reefs or using a Remotely Operated Vehicle to see the deepest parts of our oceans.

avatar for Ashley MickensAshley Mickens

I recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science and Sustainability from Miami University of Ohio, and I recently started my MSc at the University of Victoria. While my undergraduate research focused on biogeochemical cycles in lakes and streams, I am excited to pursue my MSc in the El-Sabaawi Lab and explore how urbanization might impact fisheries. In my free time, I love to travel to somewhere off the beaten path, read fantasy novels, try new recipes, and plan my next trip to the ocean.

avatar for Cheyne SpringbettCheyne Springbett

I'm pursuing a Master's in Biology at Walla Walla University. My research is focused on the best marine animal ever, octopuses. I am particularly interested in octopus behavior and their interactions with their environment. My thesis is exploring burrowing behavior of a particular octopus species, Muusoctopus leioderma, in Anacortes, WA. Before this, I worked as a fisheries observer in Alaska, collecting data on the commercial fishing effort in the Bering Sea and generally spending way too much time on boats. I like all things ocean, including diving, surfing, and writing about cool topics in marine science!

avatar for Cindy Lebrasse, Ph.D.Cindy Lebrasse, Ph.D.

Born and raised on Mauritius Island in the Indian Ocean, I came to the United States in 2015 as a Fulbright scholar to pursue a Masters degree in Marine Science at North Carolina State University. After completing my Masters degree, I stayed at NC State University where I complete my Ph.D., working in parallel as an ORISE fellow at the U.S. EPA. My research focused on two blue carbon habitats: seagrass meadows and salt marshes. I applied different methods including satellite remote sensing and machine learning to fill the current knowledge gaps in the areal extent and carbon storage capacity of these important blue carbon sinks for better monitoring and management of such ecosystems in the face of climate and anthropogenic pressures. I am now an Associate with Silvestrum Climate Associates, developing blue carbon restoration and conservation projects. When not sciencing, I enjoy my daily yoga routines, taking care of my house plants, watching f.r.i.e.n.d.s for the hundredth time, and nature walks/hikes.

avatar for Cory BergerCory Berger

I am a PhD student at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where I study the evolution and physiology of marine invertebrates. I usually work with zooplankton and sea anemones, and I am especially interested in circadian rhythms of these animals. Outside work, I love to play trumpet, listen to music, and watch hockey.

avatar for Erin FratesErin Frates

I am a PhD student at Boston University, where I study marine microbial ecology. I am interested in exploring the impact of the unseen on our oceans - my focus lies within the field of environmental microbiology, and the ecosystems that most intrigue me lie on the seafloor. When I'm not around the lab or in the field, I enjoy traveling, music, and theatre.

avatar for Fayth TanFayth Tan

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Biology at Caltech. I study animal regeneration across phylogeny— my interests include the evolution and development of weird animals and obscure science history.

avatar for Francesca GiammonaFrancesca Giammona

I am a PhD candidate at Wake Forest University, and I received a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University. My research focuses on the terrestrial locomotion of fishes. I am particularly interested in how different fishes move differently on land, and how one fish may move differently in different environments. While I tend to study small amphibious fishes, I've had a lifelong fascination with all ocean animals, and sharks in particular. When not doing science, I enjoy running, attempting to bake and cook, and reading.

avatar for Hannah CollinsHannah Collins

I’m a PhD student in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. My current research interests involve microplastics and their effects on marine suspension feeding bivalves, and biological solutions to the issue of microplastics. Prior to grad school I received my B.S in Biology from Gettysburg College, and worked for the U.S Geological Survey before spending two years at a remote salmon hatchery in Alaska. Most of my free time is spent at the gym, fostering cats for a local rescue, and trying to find the best cold brew in southeastern CT.

avatar for Jaclyn TorkelsonJaclyn Torkelson

While I have never lived close to the ocean (Minnesota, Arizona, and now Central New York), it has always had a special place in my heart. I recently earned my PhD in environmental chemistry from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) studying reef and coastal biogeochemistry. I focus on the lipid and trace metal composition of settling particles and surface sediment in coastal systems, primarily studying coral reefs. When not diving or in the lab you can find me hiking with my dogs, reading, cross stitching, or just enjoying a good cup of tea!

avatar for Jiwoon ParkJiwoon Park

I am a PhD student in chemical oceanography at University of Washington. I am studying how different forms of metals in the ocean are shaping microbial communities in the North Pacific Ocean. When not working, I like going for a walk, visiting farmers' markets and playing keyboard.

avatar for Joe AslettJoe Aslett

I am studying the science communication MSc at UWE Bristol and studied Marine Biology at the University of Exeter for my bachelor's degree. I am interested in marine ecology, sustainability and how humans are connected to the marine environment. I am also interested in using writing and science communication in general to help people connect with and care for nature.

avatar for Julie MaurerJulie Maurer

I am a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island, currently studying the harmful algal bloom genus, Pseudo-nitzschia, to resolve questions around how they produce toxins under various environmental conditions. My research interests include phytoplankton diversity, algae-bacteria interactions, polar ecology, and climate change. In my free time I enjoy doing crafts, writing, cooking, and exploring the outdoors on my feet or a pair of skis.

avatar for Katherine GrellmanKatherine Grellman

I'm an MSc student in marine biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I conduct research through the Johansen Fish Resilience Lab at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology. I'm currently studying the effects of sedimentation on the foraging behavior of herbivorous coral reef fish. Before grad school, I got a double BS in environmental geology and environmental studies at Tufts University before working at a shark research lab in the Bahamas. In my free time, you can find me climbing, running, or reading at the beach.

avatar for Kayla MladinichKayla Mladinich

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut-Avery Point exploring the dynamic interactions of microplastics and suspension feeding invertebrates. Through both field and laboratory work, I am working to understand which kinds of microplastics (different shapes, sizes, compositions) oysters, mussels, tunicates, and slippersnails consume and determine which species can be used to monitor microplastic pollution in our coastal waters. When I am not working on my research, I enjoy hiking with my husband and pup, being near or in the water, and spending time with family and friends.

avatar for Kendra DevereuxKendra Devereux

I recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Geoscience from The College of Wooster, and I am now working as an intern for the National Park Service Ocean and Coastal Resources Branch on a sea level rise project. My undergraduate research was varied, ranging from studies on tree rings to volcanic rock geochemistry to the influences of climate change on precipitation and ground water availability. I will soon be starting my MSc at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and am excited to further explore my interests in marine sciences. In my free time, I love to travel, hike, read, and roller skate.

avatar for 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.

avatar for Krti TallamKrti Tallam

Krti is interested in the transmission dynamics of environmental diseases as they relate to climate and anthropogenic stressors. As a Fulbright Scholar, Krti conducted analyses on the responses of dengue fever to climatic stressors off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, in India. Currently, Krti works with Stanford University to understand the role of schistosomiasis in environmental reservoirs, and leads the pursuit of a computational-based based analysis of eelgrass wasting disease dynamics. At Stanford, Krti serves as one of the few trans-disciplinary experts for planetary health topics, via machine learning and computer vision, data science, environmental policy, and science communication. As a STEM innovator and a first-generation woman of color, Krti is proud to be a writer for Oceanbites!

avatar for Mollie PassacantandoMollie Passacantando

I'm a first year PhD student in Physical Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. I'm currently combining active-imaging remote sensing data with in-situ measurements to characterize under-ice phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic. I love thinking about how physics and biology interact and are impacted by climate change. In my free time I love running, rowing, and skiing!

avatar for Neeharika VermaNeeharika Verma

I am a PhD student at the University of Chicago and the Marine Biological Lab, currently studying germline development and regeneration in the amphipod crustacean, Parhyale hawaiensis. I did my undergraduate degree in India and did my Masters in Oceanography at the University of Massachusetts (during which I participated in multiple month-long research cruises out in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans!). I am broadly interested in integrating ecology with developmental biology in marine organisms and I hope to comprehend the fundamental interconnectedness of the mysteries that swim in the Earth’s oceans. I am also an illustrator and a PADI certified diver. 

avatar for Nicole MucciNicole Mucci

I am an MS student in Chemical Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. My research focuses on biogeochemical fluxes of nutrients both in the water column and in sediment. I am interested in how nutrient fluxes change in response to low oxygen conditions. Prior to graduate school, I received a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont. In my free time, I like to ride my bike and drink good coffee.

avatar for Pablo Brenes CotoPablo Brenes Coto

Hello! I am a science communicator who loves sharing stories about the ocean. In my free time, I enjoy running, spending time outdoors, doing puzzles and sipping on coffee while reading a good book. I am also an educator at the Museum of Science in Boston.

avatar for Piper EvansPiper Evans

I’m a California native with a lifelong curiosity for all things related to the ocean. I got my bachelors in Marine Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz, and I’m currently pursuing a masters degree in Animal Science at the University of Idaho where my main focus of study is fish nutrition in aquaculture. My favorite subject to study outside of school is the deep sea. I enjoy learning about new mind boggling species, the latest discoveries of the deep, and the history of deep sea pioneers, research and technology. If I’m not studying the mysteries of the ocean, I’m probably roller skating or watching scary movies.

avatar for Samantha SettaSamantha Setta

I'm a PhD student in the Rynearson Lab at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO). 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. Currently, I work with cultures from regions of the ocean that are nutrient limited and will conduct experiments to investigate how these phytoplankton survive.

avatar for Sarah BrownSarah Brown

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I study marine bacteria, their interactions, and their role in oceanic carbon cycling.

avatar for Saumya SiloriSaumya Silori

Hi, I am a Ph.D. student at the National Institute of Oceanography, India. I am currently studying the particulate and dissolved organic matter dynamics in the central and eastern Arabian Sea. I am also interested in the effects of climate change on marine systems, as well as outreach and science communication. My interest in science communication stems from the lack of effective scientific outreach in my country and I wish to contribute to improving that.  In my spare time, I like to read non-fiction and learn about things I didn't know existed.

avatar for Valeria ContrerasValeria Contreras

I have a degree in Sea Science from the University of Barcelona, Spain. My main scientific interests are about conservation and ecology, especially anything about marine invertebrates. I find them the most fascinating creatures on Earth, strange yet so familiar. On a visit to the beach as a baby, I learned to crawl by going towards the sea at full speed! I enjoy reading, drawing, and writing fantasy novels in my spare time.

Oceanbites Alumni