In May, I successfully defended my dissertation (setup below) to a virtual audience of family, friends, faculty, and former students (and a live audience of two cats and one husband). I am so grateful to everyone for all of their support and encouragement, and special thanks to John Melack who first provided me with this opportunity and has consistently been my advocate and my mentor.
Throughout my degree, I had the support of a tremendous group of friends and family in Santa Barbara and all over the country. I found an incredible community at UCSB, and I am so grateful for all of the friendships and adventures I couldn’t have even begun to envision five years ago. Thank you everyone!
I recently co-hosted a session titled "Marine Sediments: Fluxes, Fauna, and Forecasting" alongside Tina Treude (UCLA) at this year's Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, CA. I also participated in the Ocean Data Labs workshop and presented my ongoing work examining permeable sediments surrounding giant kelp forests as a source of nutrients to the overlying water column. This was my first ever OSM, and I am already looking forward to OSM 2022 in Honolulu! (If anyone is interested in hosting a similar sediment-themed session at the next meeting, please feel free to get in touch!)
It was a busy summer spent finishing up the field and lab portions of my last dissertation chapter! I collected cores from the nearby Goleta Slough and members of the SBC LTER collected cores from nearby kelp forests for use in my sediment bioreactor setup. If you're interested in learning more about my findings, I'll be presenting the results of this project at the upcoming 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting.
The LTER community Instagram recently featured SBC LTER researchers, field sites, and ongoing projects based out of UC Santa Barbara, myself included. Check it out!
Last week, Katherine Le graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Earth Science. With generous support from the Worster Award, she completed and presented an independent project examining the contribution of zooplankton excretion to giant kelp forest nutrient budgets. She has been an invaluable member of our laboratory group for the past few years, contributing to numerous dissertation and summer REU projects, and she will be greatly missed. However, she's already embarked on her next adventure! Just a few days after graduating, she flew cross-country to start her new position as the Environmental Data Initiative Fellow at the Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station. Congratulations Katherine!!
Each year, I compile a list of resources (listservs, jobs, etc.) for my students to help them get a jump start on the summer. Check out the most recent version now posted to my Teaching page.
Check out our new paper in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, published as part of their special issue on sandy beach ecosystems. Our study examines how beach hoppers (Megalorchestia corniculata) break down giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and generate significant amounts of nutrients for the surrounding ecosystem. Congrats to co-authors Kyle, Lila, Jenny, and John!
Last week, I attended the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) All Scientists' Meeting in Asilomar, California. Not only was it my first chance to drive up Route 1, it was an opportunity to meet fellow scientists working at various LTER sites across the country (more on the network can be found here). I presented a poster describing some of my recent work examining nutrient cycling in kelp forest sediments and participated in a number of collaborative workshops. I also mentored an NSF REU student from UMass Amherst, Julia Cox, who received a fellowship to attend the conference and present her work on temporal shifts in zooplankton communities along the New England shelf. All in all, it was a fantastic conference, and seeing humpback whales breaching from our porch at breakfast didn't hurt!
The past few months have been packed with field and laboratory work, and it would not have been possible without the help of my student assistants, Katherine Le and Elena Staguhn.
Elena is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland who joined our lab this summer as a recipient of the SBC LTER National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant. She completed her own independent project examining the effects of debris deposited on Goleta Beach on nearshore marine sediment processes, and she presented her work at the Ocean Change Biology REU symposium at the close of the summer.
In other exciting news, Katherine received the UCSB Worster Award, which is currently funding her independent project investigating zooplankton excretion in kelp forest canopies. More on her work to come!
I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science at the University of Nevada Reno.