From: From: Rutherford, New Jersey
Education/background: Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Planning on pursuing a PhD in the near future.
Reasons for coming: At a young age, I was taught the importance of the ocean and to appreciate wildlife. Despite being from a small town outside New York City, I have spent most of my life on the ocean in Seaside Park, New Jersey. With this, I developed a strong passion for shark conservation and plans to pursue a career in marine biology. I have always been captivated by sharks and their vital role in the marine ecosystem. During my time at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), where I was a teaching assistant in the ichthyology laboratory, I completed an individual research project studying the life history characteristics of spiny dogfish sharks. I also spent time studying in Belize where I gained experience exploring and researching the different marine ecosystems on Turneffe Island. After my time there, I designed a research project comparing the fish diversity within the different reef ecosystems. As a senior in college, I worked as an intern in a sea turtle hospital where I assisted in the mass recovery of over 100 sick, injured, and cold-stunned sea turtles. Since graduating, I have continued to pursue a career studying elasmobranchs as well as the different anthropogenic effects they encounter. Gaining more knowledge in understanding shark behavior through my own research project, working alongside Clemency White, as well as other members of the BBFSF, will be invaluable to my career and my education.