As a student at Hawaii Pacific University I am fortunate enough to complete my Masters in Marine Science while enjoying the gorgeous Hawaiian sunshine. I am originally from New York and graduated from Old Dominion University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After graduation I took an internship at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. It was there that my interest in marine ornamental aquaculture was sparked.

My research here is on the assessment of the bacterial community in our live feeds (copepod nauplii) with the addition of probiotics. I am using varying next generation sequencing techniques to assess bacterial communities in the nauplii and potential shifts in bacterial communities with the addition of the probiotics. With this information we are hoping to gain some insight into the bacterial composition of the larval gut and increase larval survival past the first 9 days.

After graduation I am hoping to continue research at OI, because you can’t really go wrong with fish and Hawaii! With luck they’ll let me stick around and I can continue some genomic work with our broodstock and larvae to further advance our understanding of the yellow tang life cycle.

When I am not hugging all of my fish, I can usually be found playing in the ocean. I am an open water swimmer and enjoy getting in the water every chance I can! Last spring we swam 13.2 miles between the islands of Maui and Lanai and are hoping to try again this spring! My biggest focus currently is wrapping up my thesis and enjoying the ocean as much as possible before the “Hawaiian winter” sets in!