I received my Master's Degree in Aquatic Environmental Science from Florida State University as part of the Marine Turtle Research, Ecology, and Conservation Group (MTRECG). My research focused on the foraging ecology of green turtles where my thesis investigated the influence of diet, determined with stable isotope analysis, on blood biochemical values in juvenile green turtles. I also aided in collecting data for other projects in the lab. These included studying the habitat-use marine turtles in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and conducting marine turtle nesting surveys in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Seagrass Ecosystems and Benthic Coverage
Through past research experiences and internships I have become very knowledgeable about seagrass ecosystem dynamics. I have collected data on the impact of green turtle grazing on seagrass beds, above and below ground seagrass biomass, benthic percent coverage in seagrass meadows, growth rate of seagrass blades, and spatial distribution of different seagrass species. In addition to field work skills, I became very familiar identifying a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Marine Science and Biology with minors in Environmental Science and Mathematics from The University of Tampa. My undergraduate experiences primarily focused on marine mollusks. I conducted independent research on a species of Sacoglossan sea slug, Cyerce antillensis, where I investigated the autotomization and regeneration of an individual's cerata. Additionally, during an internship at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute I investigated species diversity indices of mollusks in the Gulf of Mexico and became skilled in marine mollusk species identification.