you're reading...

Science Communication

Why I want to talk about science with you

I’ve spent the last year telling you about the science that other people have done- I am so excited to tell you about myself this time!

How I got here

At work (obviously) in the Florida Keys

I decided to save the world after I read A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeline L’Engle. In this book, a young woman saves sick dolphins by talking to them with her mind. 5th-grade me was all, “I want THAT to be my job!” By the time I realized that dolphin telepathy isn’t actually possible, I was hooked on the ocean anyway. I was fortunate enough to attend a number of science-themed summer camps and, when I reached university, to hold a variety of internship positions (note to students: there is almost always a scholarship that you can apply to if this sounds like your kind of thing). I studied everything from fiddler crabs to whales and worked both firmly on land and mostly at sea. All this experience led me to realize that I wanted to be the one deciding what was most important to learn about our world- I wanted to lead my own research program.

So I earned my PhD in ecology. I worked in tropical red mangrove ecosystems in the Caribbean. My dissertation examined how nutrient pollution influences the way that these mangroves grow and how those growth changes impact the habitat quality of mangrove ecosystems. I had a lot of fun setting up some huge and longer-term field experiments.

My dissertation determined how nutriend pollution changes red mangrove marine habitat structure. I then connected those changes to habitat quality.


At the end of my dissertation, however, I realized that I was more interested in the impact of my work than the information I’d generated. All the excellent research that scientists do will not change the world unless it reaches beyond the academic sphere. So I started looking for ways to connect with the public. Blogging was the obvious way to start and Oceanbites was the perfect place for me to expand my marine interests.

Why scientists should talk about science

There is growing evidence that all sorts of issues besides facts influence whether people “believe” in a particular piece of science. Establishing a personal connection with science and understanding more about the scientific process can remedy this problem. We scientists are best set up to reveal what it’s like to gather and interpret evidence because we are, after all, the ones doing it.

The time is ripe for scientists to reach beyond their peers to discuss their work. When most adults want to know about a specific science topic, they research it using the internet. And they want to hear from scientists about why science matters.

So talking about science helps people understand it and live a life guided by sound scientific principles.

Plus it is SO MUCH FUN to tell people why I love science!

What’s next

I am leaving Oceanbites but pursuing a career in science communication. My (very broad) goal is to connect non-scientists with science. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but you can follow my adventures by visiting me on facebook or twitter. I won’t be the one generating information any more, I’ll be the one reminding you that we need science in our lives- it keeps us healthy, happy, and safe.


No comments yet.

Post a Comment


  • by oceanbites 3 months ago
    Happy Earth Day! Take some time today to do something for the planet and appreciate the ocean, which covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.  #EarthDay   #OceanAppreciation   #Oceanbites   #CoastalVibes   #CoastalRI 
  • by oceanbites 4 months ago
    Not all outdoor science is fieldwork. Some of the best days in the lab can be setting up experiments, especially when you get to do it outdoors. It’s an exciting mix of problem solving, precision, preparation, and teamwork. Here is
  • by oceanbites 5 months ago
    Being on a research cruise is a unique experience with the open water, 12-hour working shifts, and close quarters, but there are some familiar practices too. Here Diana is filtering seawater to gather chlorophyll for analysis, the same process on
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #oceanbites  we are featuring Hannah Collins  @hannahh_irene  Hannah works with marine suspension feeding bivalves and microplastics, investigating whether ingesting microplastics causes changes to the gut microbial community or gut tissues. She hopes to keep working
  • by oceanbites 6 months ago
    Leveling up - did you know that crabs have a larval phase? These are both porcelain crabs, but the one on the right is the earlier stage. It’s massive spine makes it both difficult to eat and quite conspicuous in
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Cierra Braga. Cierra works ultraviolet c (UVC) to discover how this light can be used to combat biofouling, or the growth of living things, on the hulls of ships. Here, you
  • by oceanbites 7 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Elena Gadoutsis  @haysailor  These photos feature her “favorite marine research so far: From surveying tropical coral reefs, photographing dolphins and whales, and growing my own algae to expose it to different
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on Oceanbites we are featuring Eliza Oldach. According to Ellie, “I study coastal communities, and try to understand the policies and decisions and interactions and adaptations that communities use to navigate an ever-changing world. Most of
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Jiwoon Park with a little photographic help from Ryan Tabata at the University of Hawaii. When asked about her research, Jiwoon wrote “Just like we need vitamins and minerals to stay
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  on  #Oceanbites  we are featuring  @riley_henning  According to Riley, ”I am interested in studying small things that make a big impact in the ocean. Right now for my master's research at the University of San Diego,
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Gabby Stedman. Gabby is interested in interested in understanding how many species of small-bodied animals there are in the deep-sea and where they live so we can better protect them from
  • by oceanbites 8 months ago
    This week for  #WriterWednesday  at  #Oceanbites  we are featuring Shawn Wang! Shawn is “an oceanographer that studies ocean conditions of the past. I use everything from microfossils to complex computer models to understand how climate has changed in the past
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Today we are highlighting some of our awesome new authors for  #WriterWednesday  Today we have Daniel Speer! He says, “I am driven to investigate the interface of biology, chemistry, and physics, asking questions about how organisms or biological systems respond
  • by oceanbites 9 months ago
    Here at Oceanbites we love long-term datasets. So much happens in the ocean that sometimes it can be hard to tell if a trend is a part of a natural cycle or actually an anomaly, but as we gather more
  • by oceanbites 10 months ago
    Have you ever seen a lobster molt? Because lobsters have exoskeletons, every time they grow they have to climb out of their old shell, leaving them soft and vulnerable for a few days until their new shell hardens. Young, small
  • by oceanbites 11 months ago
    A lot of zooplankton are translucent, making it much easier to hide from predators. This juvenile mantis shrimp was almost impossible to spot floating in the water, but under a dissecting scope it’s features really come into view. See the
  • by oceanbites 11 months ago
    This is a clump of Dead Man’s Fingers, scientific name Codium fragile. It’s native to the Pacific Ocean and is invasive where I found it on the east coast of the US. It’s a bit velvety, and the coolest thing
  • by oceanbites 11 months ago
    You’ve probably heard of jellyfish, but have you heard of salps? These gelatinous sea creatures band together to form long chains, but they can also fall apart and will wash up onshore like tiny gemstones that squish. Have you seen
  • by oceanbites 12 months ago
    Check out what’s happening on a cool summer research cruise! On the  #neslter  summer transect cruise, we deployed a tow sled called the In Situ Icthyoplankton Imaging System. This can take pictures of gelatinous zooplankton (like jellyfish) that would be
  • by oceanbites 1 year ago
    Did you know horseshoe crabs have more than just two eyes? In these juveniles you can see another set in the middle of the shell. Check out our website to learn about some awesome horseshoe crab research.  #oceanbites   #plankton   #horseshoecrabs 
WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com