Trainees

2019 Cohort

We are proud to announce the members of the second cohort of the Sustainable Oceans NRT.

Thomas Anderson (Agricultural and Resource Economics, advisor TBD): Thomas comes to SO from the master’s program in Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. His interests include aquaculture, marine fisheries management, and formulating policy solutions to problems in resource management.
Madison Armstrong (Population Biology, Professor Rachael Bay): Maddie obtained her B.S. in Biology with Specialization in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology from Washington State University in 2019. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research with Dr. Mark Dybdahl on how phenotypic plasticity in shell shape of the New Zealand freshwater snail may be impacting the invasion success of this species. For her PhD, Maddie is interested in how human-induced environmental change alters the adaptive mechanisms of sensitive marine species in those habitats.
Brooke Benson (Population Biology, Professor Rachael Bay): Brooke received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017. Since then, she has been a Lab Manager at Boston University. Brooke is interested in how climate change restructures natural systems and how the world’s oceans and their inhabitants are responding to anthropogenic disturbance on a range of geographic and temporal scales.
Jack Buckner (Ecology, Professors Marissa Baskett and Mike Springborn): Jack received his B.A. in Mathematics and Chemistry from Carleton College in 2018. He aims to use mathematical and computational tools to develop adaptive ecosystem-based management strategies for fisheries and other natural resources. He is particularly interested in understanding how to foster resilience in social-environmental systems.
Amanda Frazier (Ecology, Professor Anne Todgham): Amanda received her B.S. in Marine Science, Biology, and Ecosystem Science and Policy from University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science in 2017 and her M.S. in Animal Biology from UC Davis in 2019. Her interests lie in understanding how species cope with changing environments on the molecular, organismal, and ecosystem level. She is especially interested in studying polar species, because their adaptation to stable environments could make them particularly vulnerable to a changing climate.
Esther Kennedy (Geology, Professor Tessa Hill): Esther received her B.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 2013. For the past four years, Esther has been working as an Environmental Scientist for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. She is interested in the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on coastal communities.
Ryan Swanson (Ecology, Professor Gwen Arnold): Ryan earned his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Zoology and his Master’s in Marine Affairs (M.M.A.) from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) at the University of Washington. He seeks to combines marine ecological knowledge, modeling, and stakeholder input from coastal communities, to create policies that improve the sustainable management of marine natural resources.
Marlynn Rollins (Ecology, Professor Brian Gaylord): Marlynn graduated from Howard University in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergraduate she participated in the Evolution and Ecology Graduate Admissions Pathways Program at UC Davis. She is interested in studying the effects of environmental stressors on marine ecosystems.

2018 Cohort

We are proud to announce the members of the inaugural cohort of the Sustainable Oceans NRT.

Leslie Herrera (Integrative Genetics and Genomics, advisor TBD after lab rotations): Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Genomics, with a minor in Statistics, from UC Davis in 2015. She seeks to bring her background in genetics to bear on studying the phylogenetic relationships between threatened marine species and to assess their genetic diversity, and to apply this knowledge to development of policy solutions.
Leah Mellinger (Animal Biology, Professor Nann Fangue): Leah earned a master’s in Ecology and Sustainability from CSU Stanislaus. She seeks to conduct doctoral research on forage fish and their physiological response to environmental stressors, with a goal of a research career with NOAA.
Eliza Oldach (Ecology, Professor Gwen Arnold; NSF Graduate Research Fellow): Eliza graduated from College of the Atlantic with a degree in Human Ecology in 2015. After graduating, she embarked on a Fulbright fellowship studying intertidal ecology in New Zealand. Since returning, Eliza has chased the threads of human ecology and marine biology through work with the Ecological Society of America, Acadia National Park, and coastal communities in Downeast Maine. She aims to continue this pursuit in graduate school, studying social and ecological conditions that improve coastal community resilience and adaptation.
Priya Shukla (Ecology, Professor Ted Grosholz): After a master’s degree in Ecology from San Diego State University, Priya made the trek back north as a technician within the BOAR project at Bodega Marine Laboratory. In her doctoral research, she seeks to use commercially and recreationally harvested mussels and oysters as archives of environmental change by linking their physiology to acute oceanographic events associated with climate change.
Sabine Talaugon (Native American Studies, Professor Beth Rose Middleton): After receiving a Masters of Public Policy from Mills College, Sabine founded a program evaluation and policy analysis firm, Iwex Consulting. In honoring traditional knowledge as ever-evolving, responsive technology, Sabine seeks to study that ways that traditional ecological knowledge has sustained Indigenous communities through multiple episodes of environmental change and how Indigenous knowledge and western science may collaborate to sustain marine environments and Indigenous peoples’ access to marine resources in the face of current climate crisis.
Kaiwen Wang (Agriculture and Resource Economics): Kaiwen is a current Ph.D. student in the  Agricultural and Resource Economics Department of UC Davis after achieving a master’s degree in the same program. He is interested in the economics of  aquaculture, fisheries management, and environment regulation. He hopes to integrate theoretical modeling, empirical strategy, and policy analysis in research pertaining to ocean sustainability.