M.S., Earth Science, James Cook University (Australia), 2017
I have a passion for exploring relationships between human activities and aquatic biochemical processes. Specifically, I am interested in studying how nutrients and other environmental pollutants enter aquatic environments, react within the environment, and are finally removed. I am especially interested in exploring these questions in estuaries, complex environments where freshwater and saltwater mix. Having grown up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, I have seen first hand many of the drastic problems that chemical pollutants can cause in estuarine watersheds. Wastewater from treatment plants and even runoff from suburban neighborhoods are introducing a new age of pollutants that interact within our ecosystems in ways that are not fully understood, contributing to eutrophication, dead zones and poor public health. It is my aspiration to better understand the way that estuaries function chemically while providing data to organizations that will better guide policy or engineering solutions for water quality issues. Thus, my interests are in better understanding basic scientific principles about estuary ecosystems, while applying my discoveries to better manage these environments.