Ph.D. Candidate   |   Ecology and Evolutionary Biology



I am a marine ecologist driven by conservation. I pursue research questions that ask how environmental changes impact demography and behavior. Within this broad framework, I integrate a wide range of field, lab, and quantitative methods to inform conservation.

My PhD research program explores the effects of multiple aspects of environmental change on hawksbill sea turtles, a critically endangered species per the IUCN. My current work, at its base, seeks to answer two central questions: (1) How is global change currently impacting (hawksbill) sea turtles? (2) Can – and how will – sea turtles cope with global change moving forward? To address these questions I have employed various approaches including original observational and experimental fieldwork, analysis of a >30 year longterm nesting dataset, satellite tracking, and stable isotope ecology.

I am pursuing my degree at North Carolina State University, where I am a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and Fulbright Fellow advised by Dr. Martha Burford Reiskind. My current work focuses on a hawksbill nesting population in Antigua and Barbuda, where I collaborate with Dr. Seth Stapleton and the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project. To date, I have worked to describe nesting impacts from the contemporary Sargassum seaweed “invasion” in the Caribbean, quantify the effects of an invasive beach plant on nesting ecology, and evaluate the role of incubation temperature and other nest conditions in determining hatchling sex ratios and hatching success. Newer work extends into foraging and migratory ecology through the use of satellite tracking and stable isotope methods, as well as modeling population demography using mark-recapture data.

In addition to my core hawksbill research program, I collaborate on projects focused on different systems, taxa, and research questions. While still rooted in conservation biology, these collaborations help me to build interests in spatial ecology, population ecology and genetics, restoration, and urban ecology.

I also focus a lot of my efforts on education, outreach, and mentorship – check out my Outreach & Education Page for more!

 

About me — 

I grew up in coastal New Hampshire and did my undergrad at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg Florida. After getting a B.A. in 2012, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Spanish, I worked seasonal field jobs for 3.5 years. I capped this time with a six month sea turtle monitoring season in Antigua, after which I moved to Raleigh, NC in 2016 to start grad school and pursue sea turtle research questions. Some of my non-science interests are playing and following sports, cooking (and eating?), hiking, and skiing.