Lab/Office: 5309 McGaugh Hall
University of California, Irvine
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
321 Steinhaus Hall
Irvine, CA 92697
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Fieldwork Photographs: Gallery
I am interested in how marine organisms acquire energy based on their specified digestive strategies. Specifically, I am interested in how environmental changes impact the ability of marine organisms to specialize on low-quality food sources. I also enjoy pairing my research with various outreach endeavors.
October 2018: I presented some new data on the bonnethead shark gut microbiome at the American Physiological Intersociety Meeting: Comparative Physiology, Complexity, and Integration. I also won an award for my abstract! My research has also been featured on the UCI News site. Check it out! Finally, my new Loh Down on Science episode, Veggie Sharks, is available online!
September 2018: My paper has officially been published online in Proceedings of the Royal Society B! You can find the PDF on my publications page. This study has also gotten a lot of press! Check out this article in The New York Times.
August 2018: My paper "Seagrass digestion by a notorious 'carnivore'" with co-authors Yannis Papastamatiou and Donovan German has been accepted for publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society B! Once it is published online, I'll post the PDF. Also, my Loh Down on Science scripts "Zika Detector" and "Poopopotamus" have aired!
July 2018: The video of my final presentation as a Newkirk Fellow is available here. Also, a few scripts that I wrote have now aired on the Loh Down on Science! Check out "Robofish" and "Model Anxiety." Subscribe to the podcast so that you never miss your daily dose of science!
June 2018: I kicked off this month by giving an invited seminar to the University of California -San Diego's Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution department. I am also honored to have been awarded the Dr. William F. Holcomb Fellowship for excellence in marine science research! Finally, I am making my debut as a science writer for the Loh Down on Science this month! Tune in to your local NPR station on June 26th to hear the clip!
May 2018: I am co-organizing a Climate Solutions Summit which will take place at the Beckman Center in Irvine on May 30th. Register today! My co-organizer, Kendra Walters, and I spoke about the Summit on KUCI (88.9fm) during their "Ask a Leader" segment. You can listen to the interview here to learn more!
April 2018: I am thrilled to be working as a science writer for the "Loh Down on Science" radio podcast hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh. You can find recent episodes on the NPR website. I'll post links to the shows that I write on my website. Stay tuned! Also, I am honored to have been awarded the "Best Overall Presentation" award at the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Student Symposium.
March 2018: I presented my research at the Aquarium of the Pacific Teen Science Café event! Check out their facebook page for the video. I also accompanied UCI Vice Provost Dr. Frances Leslie to Sacramento for Grad Research Advocacy Day. I met with legislators to advocate for UC graduate programs. Finally, with funding provided by UCI OCEANS and the UCI Newkirk Center, I created a walk-through art installation of a shark digestive system in collaboration with UCI art student Lauryn Moles. Our creation debuted at Crystal Cove State Park's annual Art in the Park event. Check out the "Outreach & Teaching" tab to learn more!
February 2018: I presented on my bonnethead shark research at the annual UC Grad Slam Symposium!
January 2018: My SICB 2018 talk got some press! Check out the full story and video in Science. I also won the Best Student Oral Presentation Award from the Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry! I am also honored to have been chosen as a UCI Pedagogical Fellow for 2018! Finally, I was awarded a second Sigma Xi GIAR to continue my spiral intestine morphology research.
2017: A great year! I advanced to PhD candidacy, I had one paper published in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries and another one published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B, I presented at four conferences and won "best talk" awards at two of them (SICB, AES, ESA, and SWOB), I was awarded four major fellowships (UCI OCEANS, UCI Newkirk, UCI Distinguished Public Impact Fellowship, UCI Microbiome Initiative Pilot Project Award), I completed my internship with NOAA through the UCI Climate Action Training Program, and I became more active in science communication (Brews and Brains, SciComm Monday, Gills Club).
2016: I was honored to be awarded an NSF GRFP, as well as a YEG from National Geographic, a GIAR from the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Raney Grant Award from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and a GIAR from Sigma Xi. I was also fortunate enough to participate in the Friday Harbor Labs Fish Functional Morphology course and be accepted to the 2017 UCI Climate Action Training Program.
2015: Watch me and three young scientists explore the California coast in the SciGirls episode "Terrific Pacific" on PBS! The full episode is now available online here.