Getting to Know U

Courtney Kiel

Getting to Know U

Courtney Kiel

Hometown:
Denver, Colorado
Intended Degree:
MPS/MBF

Courtney Kiel

Would anyone be crazy enough to camp next to an active volcano? At the age of 13 I went on an outdoor educational trip to Hawaii and did just that. I was exposed to biodiversity at its finest; I experienced breathtaking coral ecosystems, lush tropical jungles, volcanic rock fields, and Mauna Loa Observatory. This experience intrigued me to pursue science and ultimately directed my academic interests.

After senior year of high school I packed my bags and moved across the country to persue a B.S. in Biology from San Diego State Univeristy. I became involved in a lab looking at maternal effects on the growth and behavior of echinoderm larvae. Eventually, it was time to leave the cold waters of California and move to sunny Florida. I found myself working with Dr. Kim Richie at Mote Marine Lab looking at microbial communities in coral mucus. This was really interesting, but not enough time in the field. Therefore, I packed my bags… again and moved to Lee Stocking Island for more field intensive internship. While in the Exuma, Bahamas I was exposed to various projects from lionfish experiments with the Hixon lab (Oregon State University) to pharmaceutical research looking at sponges with Dr. Marc Slattery (University of Mississippi). I became even more intriged with tropical ecosystems and decided persue an MPS degree in Tropical Ecosystem Management here at RSMAS. This summer I look forward to working with Dr. Margaret Miller (NOAA) doing coral restoration of threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals.

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