From: Gallatin, Tennessee, USA
Education/Background: Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (December 2020). Hoping to pursue higher education soon.
Reasons for coming: I have wanted to study sharks for as long as I can remember, and when I heard about the Shark Lab in 2014, I knew that I had to come and learn here. Because I live and attended school far from the ocean in landlocked states, I have not had many fieldwork opportunities in marine science. However, I have sought out and made as many opportunities that I could for myself. My first introduction to marine science was a field class that I attended through my university at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, Georgia. It was here that I learned how much I loved being in the field. My job at my university as an American football equipment manager also made me realize how much I loved working in a fast-paced and continuously changing environment. After returning from my trip to Sapelo Island, it sparked my curiosity and led me to develop an independent project studying climate change effects on brine shrimp populations. In additional classes, I developed a conservation management plan for the Australian grey nurse shark and completed my undergraduate honors thesis on the distribution of marine megafauna and their prey due to various anthropogenic threats. My lab work and writing made me even more eager to study sharks in their natural environment and realize how much I love communicating and sharing my work with others. The Shark Lab will allow me to gain the field experience that I desire while being able to share it with others. I am so excited to have my first opportunity to participate in shark science here around such passionate and dedicated people and cannot wait to see what it leads to!