I apply data collection, synthesis and spatial analysis approaches to understand coastal ecosystem restoration. I am a Ph.D. student at Northeastern University's Marine Science Center, co-advised by Dr. Jon Grabowski and Dr. Randall Hughes.
Coastal ecosystems provide many important ecosystem services to humans. The accessibility, vulnerability, and importance of coastal ecosystems to support human life often lead to a need for habitat restoration to repair the damage humans have caused, so they can continue to provide ecosystem services. Community and landscape ecology principles can be applied to restoration projects to inform restoration of ecosystem functions and services, including in coastal ecosystems. I aim to collaborate with restoration decision-makers to apply these principles to restoration monitoring data and adaptively manage restoration programs to maximize benefits for nature and people.
Prior to my PhD studies, I helped develop strategies for incorporating monitoring and adaptive management into the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a contractor for NOAA.
Restoration and conservation of coastal ecosystems inherently occur within social-ecological systems: humans exploit or degrade their ecological systems and then apply restoration efforts, which feed back into social systems through ecosystem services on which humans rely. Given the strong links between humans and their environment inherent in restoration efforts, I am interested in the social ramifications of restoration decisions, and their influence on the long-term sustainability of restoration outcomes.
I am also passionate about science outreach, engaging with the public, and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. I feel that scientists have the opportunity to engage the public in our research in ways that promote science literacy and buy-in for conservation and restoration efforts.
I am pursuing a career that will allow me to collaboratively answer large-scale questions that will further progress in marine conservation and restoration.
I am interested in informing the restoration of coastal and estuarine systems through experimentation and quantitative approaches
I am interested in examining the influence of spatial processes on large-scale restoration efforts.
I am interested in understanding human perceptions of, attitudes toward, and influences on their environment.
2016 - Present
Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College fo William and Mary
M.S. Marine Science
B.S. Biology and Environmental Science