People

Trainees - Cohort 1

Leslie Guerrero

  • PhD Student, Integrative Genetics and Genomics
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

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Animal Biology
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.

Ellza Oldach

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Ecology and 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

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Ecology
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.

Kaiwen Wang

  • PhD Student, 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.

Trainees - Cohort 2

Thomas Anderson

  • PhD Student, Agriculture and Resource Economics
TJ comes to Sustainable Oceans 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

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Population Biology
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

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Population Biology
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

  • PhD Student, Graduate Group in Ecology
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.

Esther Kennedy

  • PhD Student, Geology
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.