Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
My research includes using ArcGIS mapping software and statistical analysis to determine what environmental factors most effect biological assemblages in deep water. I am very interested in exploring and mapping deep sea environments, and I aim to be involved in the effective characterization and resource management of these habitats.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
My interest in Marine Biology started when I was a kid reading books about sharks in the library, and has lingered with me ever since. My undergraduate and graduate studies have caused me to be most intrigued with ocean habitats in deep water. I find all the creatures living at great depths to be enthralling, and I am curious to know what else is out there that we have yet to see.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
My undergraduate and graduate advisors have done a wonderful job of encouraging me to work hard to achieve my goals of exploring, expanding and sharing knowledge of the ocean.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I think it's fascinating to see images of and learn about all the organisms that live in the deep sea. I've had the opportunity to go through hundreds of images from far off places that most people never get to see, and that is thrilling to me.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I have had a multitude of jobs that have each taught me valuable skills. From on-air television operator to laboratory assistant for undergraduates; I have learned professional skills, as well as the importance of educational outreach. My passions have lead me to be driven to explore and share knowledge about our oceans, and I plan to continue gaining skills and experience to build a career that will achieve this task.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Central Missouri, 2014; Pursuing Master of Science in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University
What are your hobbies?
Some things I like to do for fun are playing with my adorable dogs, drawing, painting, playing the violin, bass, guitar, and keyboard, and spending time outside, especially at the beach!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
If you know what you want, don't give up, and be willing to take on as many experiences as possible that could help you further your career and broaden your knowledge.
How did you get involved in the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I became involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program when I applied for an internship opportunity. I had seen videos from the Nautilus website during one of my graduate classes, and from that I knew I wanted to get involved with the program.