Ph.D., Biological Oceanography

I recently completed my Ph.D. in Oceanography, working under the supervision of Lisa Levin in the Integrative Oceanography Division. My research focuses on community structure and dynamics at methane seeps, especially in regards to macrofauna associated with carbonates and other hard substrates. Field work involved oceanographic sampling and experiments at deep-sea methane seeps utilizing submersibles and ROVs. In addition, I was chief scientist of a student-led cruise (SDCoastEx), during which we discovered a new methane seep off the San Diego coast (see 2015 publications). Currently, I am an adjunct instructor of Oceanography and Invertebrate Zoology at the University of San Diego and several community colleges, and am teaching Marine Ecology at the University of Oregon this summer.

Research Interests

  • Marine benthic ecology
  • Biodiversity and community structure in methane seeps and other deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems
  • Food web structure and application of stable isotopes
  • Metacommunity dynamics, diversity, and connectivity in patchy ecosystems
  • Anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystem services
  • Invertebrate zoology
  • Rocky intertidal ecology and animal-microhabitat interactions
  • Deep-sea exploration and conservation


  • Ph.D., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2008–2014.  
    Dissertation: Implications of environmental heterogeneity for community structure, colonization, and trophic dynamics at eastern Pacific methane seeps
  • M.S., Biology, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, 2003–2006.  
    Thesis: Purple sea urchins in and out of pits: the effects of microhabitat on population structure, morphology, growth, and mortality
  • B.A., Environmental Studies and Biology, Gettysburg College, 1999–2003.  
    Thesis: Correlations between the foundation species Mytilus edulis and infauna and epifauna across spatial scales in a soft-bottom system in Maine