CMSI-COAST Scholars

2020 Cohort

Jordan Alejo is currently a Master’s student at San Diego State University in the Public Health department, specializing in Environmental Health. He is interested in the effects of anthropogenic chemicals on coastal systems, the relationship to public health, and interdisciplinary approaches to mitigate the impacts. His thesis project explores the ecological and bioaccumulative effects of tobacco waste on marine life in a coastal natural reserve.
Gammon Koval is a Master’s student at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Dr. Scott Hamilton’s Ichthyology Lab. His thesis is focused on the surf zone community assemblage and observing how it changes throughout the year as well as how marine protected areas are impacting it. This is also part of a larger, state-wide assessment investigating how marine protected areas are conserving the surf zone.
Allison Payne is a Masters student at San Francisco State’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center with Dr. Ellen Hines. Her research looks at humpback whale entanglement scars off the coast of central California to inform management decisions. She hopes to continue a career doing cetacean research that will impact conservation and policy.
Monica Tonty is a Master’s student in Dr. Darren Ward’s lab at Humboldt State University, which focuses on anadromous salmonids within coastal watersheds. She is interested in researching the effectiveness of different habitat restoration projects and incorporating behavioral or life history diversity. She is collaborating with the Scott River Watershed Council to analyze factors influencing juvenile coho salmon survival during freshwater rearing in different types of restored habitats, including side channels, beaver dam analogs, and off-channel ponds.

2019 Cohort

Ellie Brauer received her B.S. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2017 and she is currently continuing her studies at Cal Poly in pursuit of Master’s degree in Biology. She is interested in how variation in ocean conditions affects growth rate in fish and she hopes to pursue fisheries science as a career.
Cassidy Cooper is a Master’s student in Dr. John Eme’s lab in the program for Biological Sciences at California State University, San Marcos. She is investigating the thermal physiology and metabolic responses of fish. Pursuing a career in research and comparative physiology, she enjoys being a part of the continuous learning and communication processes of the scientific community.
Jennifer Fields is currently a Master’s student at California State University, Northridge in Dr. Nyssa Silbiger’s Quantitative Marine Ecology Lab. She is interested in the effects of climate change on ecosystem function in rocky intertidal communities. She hopes to incorporate interdisciplinary, whole ecosystem approaches into her research to help inform conservation management decisions.
Carl Hendrickson is a Master’s student at the San Fransisco State University Estuarine and Ocean Science Center. He studies eelgrass restoration in San Francisco Bay and how ecosystem services offered by Living Shorelines Restoration Projects can help counter climate change impacts.
Shelby Moshier is currently a biology Master’s student at California State University, Fresno. For her thesis research, she is working with Dr. Joshua Reece to investigate the impacts of dredging on coastal bird and macroinvertebrate biodiversity. She plans to pursue a career as a research professor and is broadly interested in evolutionary genetics, phylogenetics, and studying the impacts of disturbances on coastal biodiversity.
Alexandra Thomsen is currently an Master’s student in the Environmental Science Program at California State University, Monterey Bay with a focus on Marine Science. Her research interests include anthropogenic effects on coastal ecosystems, conservation and restoration practices, and ecosystem services of coastal habitats. For her Masters thesis, she is collaborating with Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to better understand the drivers of marsh plain colonization and to inform “best practices” for marsh restoration based on different indicators of success.