Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
I lead a team in our Estuarine and Ocean Ecology program which investigates early life history of fishes (egg to juvenile stage), predator-prey interactions of fish and invertebrates, and also am interested in gelatinous zooplankton and their role in marine food webs. I usually go to sea once a year to collect samples that are later processed back in the laboratory. I like to work collaboratively with other scientists and students from both the US but also from many different countries.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I did not grow up near the ocean so really had my first experience as an undergraduate when I did a semester internship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. I started the internship off with a 6-week cruise to the Caribbean and immediately change my whole career path from that time forward. I am particularly interested in exploring new areas and learning about new things and consider myself to be an ocean explorer when I can.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
I had a number of good mentors during my career but in particular, my boss in Woods Hole was very helpful as was my MS major professor at Oregon State University.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
I think the past cruises where we have used ROVs were among my fascinating parts of my career which led to some interesting discoveries and some of my more influential scientific papers.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I did a lot of work up in the Bering Sea but also in tropical waters, all of which helped shape my present career.
What are your degrees and certifications?
BS in Fisheries - University of Massachusetts Amherst 1976
MS in Oceanography - Oregon State University, Corvallis 1983
Ph.D. in Fisheries - University of Washington, Seattle 1990
What are your hobbies?
I like doing a lot of outdoor activities and love to travel and enjoy many kinds of music.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Try to get as many different experiences as possible early on rather than just settle for the first subject area you start working on in your first position. It may take a while to find a suitable area that you feel the best in. It may take a while before you can land a good paying job and I even had to volunteer quite a bit early on but I thought the experience was worth the effort in the long run.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
I was asked to come aboard to help with the zooplankton work.