KATE MCKEON

From: Red Hook, NY

Education/Background: BS in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a concentration in Marine Biology and Conservation from Cornell University (Dec 2020). Sustainable Fisheries Research Assistant at Cornell University (2018-2020). Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Intern at the New York Aquarium (Summer 2019) Marine Environmental Science TA at Shoals Marine Lab (July 2018) Invasive Species Research Assistant (2015-2017). Planning to pursue an MS and Ph.D. in the near future.

Reasons for coming: I grew up on a farm in Upstate NY and was very active in local 4H clubs which fostered my love of both animals and teaching/engaging with the public on various conservation issues and animal care. It wasn’t until high school when I took a marine biology course, that I fell in love with marine megafauna and shifted my focus away from farm animals towards the fascinating underwater creatures I had studied. During my time in high school, I also participated in research studying an invasive species of shrimp in the Finger Lakes region where I grew to love fieldwork and research and co-authored a paper around the various impacts of light, substrate, and predator interactions on this particular species that was published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research in the spring of 2020. At Cornell, I worked in a Lab in the Animal Science Department that focused on designing more sustainable alternatives to a traditional fish feed using fishery waste. Following my Freshman year, I spent a summer at Shoals Marine Laboratory where I gained hands-on experience with the various species that live around Maine through several intensive courses and was asked to stay and help teach a Marine Environmental Science course to High School students. In 2019, I interned at the New York Aquarium in the Sharks department and fell even more in love with them which led me to the Shark Lab. I am excited to gain more hands-on experience with the Sharks and Rays of Bimini as well as getting to work with the local community and our social media platforms to further develop my outreach and teaching skills. In Addition, I look forward to exploring the various projects being conducted at the SharkLab as I narrow my research interests for when I pursue a master's and Ph.D.

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