Ever since my parents took me to local aquariums as a toddler, I have been interested in marine biology. However, unlike most children who “want to study ocean animals when they grow up” and then lose this particular interest, I have kept my passion for marine science. I find the crossroads between ecology and physiology and the ability of animals to cope with a changing environment fascinating.
It wasn’t until college that I became aware that pursuing a career in elasmobranch biology was an academic path open to me. I had learned about maternal offloading of contaminants in marine mammals at UCSC so when the opportunity arose with Dr. Chris Lowe (at CSULB) to pursue this line of research in elasmobranchs, an area of study that was not well understood at the time, I took it. Since the field of elasmobranch toxicology is relatively new compared to other areas of study in elasmobranch biology, there is literally a whole career’s worth of exciting investigation to be conducted. After completing my Master’s, I realized that I had more questions than answers at the end of the degree, which led me to pursue a Ph.D.
In particular, I am interested in elasmobranch physiology as it relates to anthropogenic contaminant accumulation and effects. Another area of interest of mine is maternal transfer and the implications it has on elasmobranch development and fitness. I am extremely excited about my research in elasmobranch toxicology as it is both unique and a novel area of study and look forward to pursuing a career in research.