Graduate Student, Biological Oceanography

I am a graduate student in Lisa Levin's lab in the Integrative Oceanography Division. I recently defended my dissertation, focusing on community structure and dynamics at methane seeps, especially in regards to macrofauna associated with carbonates and other hard substrates. My research involves sampling and field experiments at methane seeps utilizing submersibles and ROVs. In addition, I was part of a student led cruise, during which we discovered a new methane seep off the San Diego coast.

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