- About Us
M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 2011. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program Fellow, University Distinguished Fellow
Thesis: Assessment of lake trout refuge effects on trends in relative abundance of select native fish species in the Apostle Islands region, Lake Superior
B.A. Biology, Boston College, 2004
Senior Honors Thesis: Australian Environmental History: A review of methods for assessment of European settlement’s impact on native ecology
BC/UNSW Study Abroad Program, University of New South Wales, 2002/2003
I am originally from the Great Lakes region and have always enjoyed living and working within a few miles of a major body of fresh or salt water. While obtaining a bachelor's degree in biology from Boston College, I spent a summer as a research intern at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Department of Conservation and Science in Chicago, and a year abroad at the University of New South Wales in Australia studying marine science. After college I worked for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission conducting creel surveys along the San Diego County coast as part of the California Recreational Fisheries Survey. I spent the next several years before coming to graduate school as a Research Fellow in the Great Lakes National Program Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through a program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. This opportunity allowed me to engage in monitoring and reporting on Great Lakes ecosystem health, and included involvement in projects related to invasive species and education and outreach. I also conducted field sampling and lab analysis as part of the Great Lakes Water Quality Surveys aboard the R/V Lake Guardian every spring and summer.
Throughout these experiences, I experienced firsthand the high level of collaboration needed across disciplines and interest groups to address complex ecological issues. I came to work with Dr. Bill Taylor in the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability to investigate how this approach could be better integrated into the international conservation and management of our world’s fisheries.
My long-term research interests relate to the development and assessment of management tools and collaborative strategies that facilitate international fisheries conservation. My master's project focused on the Great Lakes and the rehabilitation of lake trout populations, specifically with regards to the direct and indirect effects of lake trout refuges on target and non-target fishes in Lake Superior. I also helped the Great Lakes Fishery Commission review the efficacy of aquatic protected areas and their potential role in future fisheries research programs and management plans.
My goal is to investigate the feasibility of dynamic marine reserves capable of adjusting to changing ecological (and social) conditions, as well as reserves that lend themselves to protecting highly-migratory species. I am also intrigued by the integration of outreach and citizen science programs in supporting adaptive management of existing reserves – therefore promoting conservation efforts that can be sustained while providing educational services.