I’m an Extension Associate with Mississippi State University and a Marine Fisheries Specialist with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant. I was born and raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, near the port city of Baltimore. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been enthusiastic about the natural world. During high school, I was able to foster my growing love for marine life by volunteering as an exhibit guide at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
I pursued my undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Under the direction of Dr. Will White, I wrote and defended an undergraduate thesis which focused on California marine protected area effectiveness. I graduated with a BS in Marine Biology in December 2013.
After completing an internship at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, and working as an environmental educator in coastal North Carolina, I began my graduate studies at the University of South Alabama and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Fisheries Ecology Lab. My thesis research was supervised by Dr. Marcus Drymon, and involved the distribution, abundance, age, and growth of the gray triggerfish population off the coast of Alabama. I was fortunate to learn additional lab and field techniques, and work with several inshore and offshore fish species, through participation in other Fisheries Ecology Lab projects. In December 2017, after successfully defending my thesis, I earned my MS degree in Marine Sciences.
I look forward to applying my marine science background and familiarity with Gulf of Mexico fisheries in developing outreach and extension opportunities to efficiently connect with stakeholders and the general public on various topics including marine fisheries, marine economics, and coastal ecology.