Elkhorn Slough (Monterey Ocean Science REU)

2015: Elkhorn Slough, Research Blogs

This summer I had the opportunity to conduct original research at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (ESNERR) in Watsonville, California. In addition to assisting with ESNERR’s regular monitoring projects, I conducted an observational study to study a possible link between an invasive crab (Carcinus maenas) and poor water quality due to eutrophication. Trekking through the mud to deploy and retrieve traps was exhausting but worth the effort! I discovered how rewarding original research can be!


Ichthyophonus: animal meets fungi

Disease ecology, Ichthyophonus, Ichthyophonus in Pacific Herring, Research Blogs

My master’s thesis focuses on a curious little protistan parasite: Ichthyophonus hoferi. The parasite is a mesomycetozoan.

Meso: between
Myco: fungus
Zoa: animal

Hurray to a scientific name that makes sense!

This lil’ parasite was once classified as a fungus, and it’s easy to see why. Ichthyophonus can take on many shapes, many of which resemble fungi. For example, sometimes Ichthyophonus can be seen surrounded by hyphae (usually a fungal characteristic):

ichthyophonus germinating.png

Another major stage of Ichthyophonus is its schizont phase, which look pretty spore-like to many (although, in my non-fungus research focus, all spheres look spore-like to me 🤷‍♀️ )


Yup. Basically everything you see is Ichthyophonus in its glorious cell-stage diversity 😍.

Ichthyophonus is more than a taxonomic puzzle, it is also a disease-causing agent in over 80 different fish species (brown trout, herrings, halibuts, much more). Stay tuned…

What does your dinner have to do with climate change?

Oral Presentations, Outreach

We all know that driving cars and keeping the lights on impacts our carbon footprint… but could our diet make even more of an impact?

Do we open the door for invaders?

Oral Presentations, Outreach, Research Blogs

Presentation given at TEDdy Talks hosted by CSU Monterey Bay (May 2016)

Biodiversity in decline: how human behavior promotes invasive species

Western Society of Naturalists (2016)

Abstracts, Conferences, Presentations, Uncategorized

I am so very excited to share my camera system design with my marine ecology community today!

I’ve been given the opportunity to attend the Ocean Candidates Forum at CSU Monterey Bay tonight!

Outreach, Research Blogs, Uncategorized

I’ll be giving my oral presentation based on the Ulithi expedition at the Western Society of Naturalists at 1:30pm, in the Conservation Technologies session!

See you there!

Conferences, Oral Presentations

Welcome to Micronesia: Yap State

Research Blogs, Ulithi

Finally we land in Yap State! Our flight landed close to midnight, but even so, I am hit with a wet wall of heat as I step off the plane.

The Fearless 5 embark on their adventure

Research Blogs, Ulithi

Day 5 of the International Coral Reef Symposium, and I missed it! I was not disappointed, however. We need to leave today if we are to make the once weekly flight to the Ulithi Atoll.

As you might imagine, getting to one of the least visited countries in the world is no easy feat.

Attending the International Coral Reef Symposium

Research Blogs, Ulithi

What a whirlwind the past few days have been!

Fresh off the plane in Honolulu,

Day 1: Goodbye Monterey! (Befriending the luggage scale and becoming a TSA Jedi)

Research Blogs, Ulithi, Uncategorized

After a couple of intense packing days, we are ready for the first arm of the expedition! Through this process, I definitely learned a lot about preparing for science in a remote region.

Lesson 1: When in doubt, pack that screw AND the screwdriver to fit it!