I am currently a Nearshore Research Technician with the Hakai Institute, based on Quadra Island, British Columbia. The Hakai Institute, a part of the Tula Foundation, conducts long-term scientific research on the coastal margins of BC. I spend the majority of my time in the Genome Lab, extracting and amplifying DNA from a variety of environmental samples to better understand marine communities, from ocean microbes to megafauna such as fish and invertebrates. I also travel up to Calvert Island on the Central Coast to assist with long-term monitoring of eelgrass meadows and nearshore marine biodiversity surveys.
In 2018 I completed my Masters in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. As a member of the Coastal Marine Ecology and Conservation Lab and a Hakai Scholar, I examined the carbon storage capacity of eelgrass meadows in British Columbia. Seagrass species worldwide have been recently acknowledged as highly efficient carbon sinks, yet we lack data on how much carbon is stored in Zostera marina meadows in Pacific NW, and what environmental factors might drive variation in the carbon storage capacity of these ecosystems. My research revealed that the amount of carbon stored in eelgrass habitats is highly variable, and is largely influenced by waves and currents. This work was some of the first to provide estimates of carbon sequestration and stocks in Pacific Northwest eelgrass meadows.
Prior to starting my Masters, I completed my Honours B.Sc. in Marine Biology at the University of British Columbia in 2013. During my time at UBC I completed the Fall Program at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre , helped conduct experimental work in eelgrass meadows as part of the Zostera Experimental Network, simultaneously assisted two graduate students and conducted my Honours research in eelgrass meadows of Barkley Sound and worked in the Algae collection in the UBC Herbarium. Upon graduation, I worked for almost two years in and around Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan, monitoring endangered species (black-tailed prairie dog, black-footed ferret and swift fox) populations with the Calgary Zoo's Centre for Conservation and Research. While the prairies now hold a special place in my heart, I knew I eventually wanted to return to coastal BC to pursue my passion for marine ecology, conservation and management.
As my career progresses, I hope to continue working in the realm of environmental science, specifically coastal ecology. I would love to blend community driven monitoring and research with outreach and education about coastal conservation and natural history.
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