Getting to Know U
- Newton, Massachusetts
- Intended Degree:
- PhD, Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry
Coral reefs are amazing ecosystem rich with vibrant colors, and remarkable creatures found nowhere else. It is disheartening to think that our impacts on these ecosystems have been so detrimental for their survival. I believe understanding the impacts of these adverse anthropogenic influences is the first step towards building a community that can effectively protect this vital ecosystem.
My research here at RSMAS focuses on the effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the ensuing ocean acidification, on coral growth rates. Specifically I am applying a new radiochemical tracer to help estimate growth-rates of large scale coral communities. I am also looking at growth-rates of individual coral colonies to better understand how corals are responding to the pressures of global climate change and ocean acidification. My research is conducted in Bermuda, in affiliation with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science, which provides a unique opportunity to study growth-rates of a threshold coral community that is expected to be affected first by changes in ocean chemistry attributed to global climate change.
When I’m not SCUBA diving in Bermuda, collecting corals, and filtering TONS of water, I enjoy surfing, running, and the best Miami past time: going to the beach. Before coming to Miami I served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Fiji, where I became committed to pursuing a career that would help sustain the ecosystem we all relied on there. I returned to the States and entered the graduate program at The University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography. Upon finishing my masters degree in chemical oceanography in Rhode Island I moved to Miami (better weather, worse surf) to continue my education as a PhD candidate. I hope to use my understanding of climate change and its adverse implications on coral reef ecosystems to educate local communities who rely on these ecosystems for food and income. It will take a global effort to ensure that coral reefs remain a part of our future; I hope to play a key role in that effort.
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