Florida Atlantic University, Loggerhead Marinelife Center
My love for the natural world started at a very early age, and this fueled my desire to study the plants and animals that surrounded me as a child as well as the natural and anthropogenic processes that affect these organisms' survivorship.
After graduating from the University of Denver with two Bachelor of Art degrees in Environmental Science and Geography, I volunteered for ecological non-profits in the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica to explore the world of terrestrial and marine conservation. These opportunities led to an internship with a Cape Verdean sea turtle conservation organization, Turtle Foundation, in 2013. I viewed this job simply as working vacation where I could legally touch sea turtles and experience a different culture. But over the course of that summer, I fell in love with the work. Being able to witness a sea turtle lay her eggs night after night is a sight very few people get to experience, and the prospect of doing this as a career was an opportunity I had to peruse.
After eight more seasons working with sea turtles in Cape Verde, Greece, Costa Rica, and Florida, USA and armed with an MSc in Environmental Science from the Albert-Ludwigs Universität Freiburg, I started a PhD program in Integrative Biology at FAU. The research I intend to conduct will focus on climate change and it's effect on the health and nesting ecology of the leatherback sea turtle. I will incorporate historical analyses along with novel ideas to dive into the climatic variables that are contributing to the decline in the northwestern Atlantic leatherback population.