Research Interests:My primary research interest is marine mammal health and toxicology. Since 2003 I have assisted in the development and implementation of a novel technique to extract molecular biomarkers from marine mammal blubber in order to gather valuable life history and health information. Our primary focus has been pregnancy diagnosis in free-ranging cetaceans but we have begun investigating new areas of research, such as chronic stress and other indicators of health in marine mammals. My role in the marine mammal molecular life history group is to manage and conduct the labwork in a variety of projects. In addition to life history research I have expanded my laboratory repertoire to include several different genetic techniques, most recently by assisting with sequencing for the core genetics lab. Furthermore, I have been able to take advantage of the occasional opportunity to do fieldwork where I have learned to biopsy marine mammals, perform marine mammal necropsies, and assist with counts of migrating gray whales.
Education:B.S. Biology: Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology; University of California, San Diego