Austin Allen

Duke University

Austin (@austin_s_allen) is a PhD student in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University. His research include understanding the adaptations of deep-diving dolphins, as well as quantifying the energetic costs of human disturbances on marine mammals. By working with trained dolphins in zoos and aquariums, Austin is validating conservation tools that he plans to use in estimating the energetic impacts of boat interactions on dolphin populations. Austin received his BBA from the College of William and Mary. He began working in science communication at marine parks in Hawaii and Malaysia, and is excited about SciREN’s mission.

Molly Bost

UNC Chapel Hill

Molly (@MollyBost) is currently a PhD student in Dr. Antonio Rodriguez’s lab based at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City. She is currently working on a project investigating how land-use change over the past 150 years may have affected the sedimentation regime in North Carolina’s tidal creeks. Molly graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 with a BS in Environmental Science and in 2016 with a MS in Marine Sciences. Her master’s work, with Dr. Brent McKee, focused on sedimentation and Carbon burial rates in the New River Estuary using radiometric dating.

Rachel Canty

UNC Chapel Hill

I’m a master’s student in the Noble lab being co-advised by Rachel Noble and Brett Froelich. I am studying surface competition between pathogenic and non-pathogenic Vibrio strains and the relevance of this competition in reference to their bioaccumulation in oysters. I graduated from UNC in 2016 with a BS in Environmental Science.

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Jeanne Shearer

Duke University

Jeanne is a PhD student at the Duke Marine Lab working with Dr. Andy Read. She studies marine mammal foraging ecology and conservation. Her PhD work involves using digital movement and acoustic tags to study the effect of body condition on foraging ability in large whales. She wants to relate this to issues of entanglement in fishing gear. Prior to Duke she finished a Masters in Marine Mammal Science in Scotland, studying pilot whale foraging behavior. She has previously done outreach with the Dundee Science Center and DUML Community Science Program and looks forward to continuing outreach in the local community with SciREN.

Hillary Smith

Duke University

Hillary Smith is a 3rd year PhD student at the Duke Marine Lab studying issues of sustainability and equity in small-scale fisheries policy using interdisciplinary social science methods. She focuses specifically on the under-researched role women play in fisheries and how policy shapes gender equity outcomes. In addition to her research, she participates in local outreach activities because she believes in the importance of communicating and making science accessible and in increasing diversity of underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

Coutney Swink

Duke University

Courtney is a PhD student at Duke University in Marine Science and Conservation based at the Duke University marine lab in Beaufort, NC. Her research interests include cultivating marine microalgae at large scale for biofuel and other natural products. Her dissertation research focuses on the role of the microbial community in the success of large outdoor algae ponds. Courtney received her BS in Marine Science and Biology from the University of South Carolina in 2016. In undergrad she became heavily involved in a marine science club that visited local classrooms to give marine biology presentations and activities which encouraged her to continue working with promoting STEM education.

Olivia Torano

UNC Chapel Hill

Olivia Torano (@liv0t) is a masters student at the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine sciences studying nutrient cycling and eutrophication in shallow lakes. She has experience working with elementary and middle school students from her time volunteering with a 4H tech and environmental club and working at a children’s science museum. Olivia received her B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan in 2014.

Erin Voigt

NC State University

Erin Voigt (@epvoigt) is a PhD student at NC State in the department of Marine Earth and Atmospheric sciences (MEAS). Her project currently works with local high-school students to measure Blue Crab post-larval recruitment in Pamlico Sound. Prior to her dissertation work Erin received her MS in Ecology from San Diego State University and a BA in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Erin has always enjoyed working in scientific education and outreach through organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America and as a Marine Science Instructor with SeaCamp San Diego.

Amy Yarnall

UNC Chapel Hill

Amy is a Ph.D. student in the Fodrie lab at the Institute of Marine Sciences. She studies the effects of seagrass habitat degradation on the juvenile fishes and invertebrates that use seagrass as a nursery environment. She graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in biology and minor in marine science in 2015.

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Shelby Ziegler

UNC Chapel Hill

Shelby (@slziegler220) is a PhD student in the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology at UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. Her research focuses on understanding how habitat connectivity and trophic interactions influence community dynamics in coastal marine systems. Shelby graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2013 with a degree in Biology. During undergrad she worked as an environmental education intern at the Maymont Foundation developing lesson plans and working with students of all ages. This experience taught her the importance of integrating novel science into STEM education and developed excitement for participating in outreach activities.