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 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 Braden FurnessBraden Furness

I am a recent MSc graduate in marine biology from Bangor University, where I studied population dynamics of elasmobranchs off the coast of Wales. My interests lie in ecological data analysis to understand environmental processes and identify natural patterns. However, nothing beats being in the field and interacting directly with the marine life.

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 received my PhD in Biology from Wake Forest University, and I received a BS 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 Jaclyn TorkelsonJaclyn Torkelson

While I have never lived close to the ocean, 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. Currently, I am a Visiting Assistant Professor at Trinity College. 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 Jordana PortmanJordana Portman

I received my MPS in Marine Biology & Ecology from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Sciences in May 2024.  I plan to use my education and experience to pursue a career in science writing or film production to help communicate the importance of the ocean to the general public.

avatar for Julie MaurerJulie Maurer

I am a masters student at the University of Rhode Island, studying the ecology of the harmful algal bloom genus, Pseudo-nitzschia. My work is interdisciplinary and revolves around coastal health, water quality, and public engagement with science. 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 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 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 Ocean!). 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 Nicole Stephanie GierlingerNicole Stephanie Gierlinger

I have a master’s degree in marine biology, ecology, and behavioural biology obtained from the University of Vienna. Since I can remember I wanted to become a marine biologist, despite growing up in a country without an ocean, but I guess my South African roots just kept on pushing to make this dream come true. After graduation I spent a year in Australia and assisted several NGOs with marine educational talks and citizen science programmes. Here I had the privilege of observing humpback whales on their annual migration passed the eastern coast of Australia, and participating in seagrass and rockpool monitoring activities. With a heavy heart I left Australia, but soon after obtained a position as a marine educator at Malta National Aquarium. Today I am based in Germany exploring marine critters in the North and Baltic Sea and if I am not too busy, you'll find me diving in the Red Sea, blogging on my Facebook page, swimming, running, reading, and meditating.

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 Valeria ContrerasValeria Contreras

I have a degree in Sea Science and a Masters in Environmental Evaluation and Monitoring of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, and I currently work as a scientific divulgator in the University of Barcelona. 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