During my career, I have had the opportunity to directly mentor undergraduate students and post baccalaureate research technicians. Here is a list of mentees and a brief description of their research foci.
Lauren graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Biology in 2017. As a research technician, Lauren assisted on a project researching the effects of marsh islands on fish and crustacean communities. She focused on how different size marshes influence juvenile fish condition and energy content. Lauren is now a Masters student at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Lauren and I are still working on a meta-analysis on the effect of contaminants on predator-prey interaction in aquatic and marine ecosystems.
In the fall of 2017, Lily conducted an independent research project through the UNC Institute for the Environment. Lily created barricades along the marsh edge to determine the feasibility of blocking off access to the marsh surface for nekton. Lily tested the barricades functionality with predation assays along side of nets and traps. Lily returned in the summer of 2018 to investigate how predator-prey interactions vary across marsh islands of varying edge to area ratio. Lily was a 2018-2019 NOAA Hollings Scholar and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in the Spring of 2020.
Marianna McMains (Miller)
Marianna initially came to work with me in the fall of 2016 while spending a semester at the coast through the UNC Institute for the Environment. For her independent research, Marianna manipulated marsh shoot density using wooden dowels as a Spartina alterniflora mimic to determine the importance of habitat complexity on predator-prey interactions in salt marshes. Marianna graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.S. of Environmental Science in 2018 and came back to work as a research technician following graduation.
Jasmin was an NSF REU student working at Moss Landing Marine Labs and Cal State Monterey Bay in the summer of 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic Jasmin's work was 100% virtual. Her research focused on examining changes in fish diversity and commuity composition after the 2014-2015 marine heatwave (the blob). Jasmin used data collected by the CA Collaborative Fisheries Research Program between 2007 and 2020. She also assisted with the analysis of macroalgae from BRUVs in the surf zone along the California Coast.
Claire is graduate of the University of Tampa (2019) with degree in Environmental Sciences and Marine Science. Claire interned with me in the Summer of 2018. She assisted in marsh habitat sampling, fish collections, fish dissections for stable isotope analysis, and a variety of other projects with the UNC Coastal Fish Ecology Lab.
Andrew graduated in the Spring of 2017 from the University of Montana Western. Andrew worked as at research technician on a variety of marsh projects: night sampling, predator-prey tethering experiments and a residency study tagging juvenile fishes. He continues to collaborate on a project investigating trophic ecology of fishes across broad geographic regions. Andrew began pursuing a graduate degree in fisheries research with Dr. Jim Morely at ECU in 2020.
Paige Varner (Bippus)
Paige was an NSF REU student working at VIMS in the summer of 2014. Paige's research focused on assessing consumption rates with in tidal marshes along a salinity gradient in the Chesapeake Bay estuary from fully fresh (0 ppt) to fully marine (35 ppt). Paige assisted in the ground truthing of a standarized dried squid assay "Squipops" and was apart of a peer-reviewed publication from this work. Paige is currently a PhD Candidate at Duke University in Environmental Engineering