I grew up in Southern California and spent my early years adventuring in the Mohave Desert and playing in the waves of Zuma Beach. Driven by innate scientific curiosity, I sought any and every opportunity to explore.
I formally began my scientific journey in high school, when I co-developed a science fair project to investigate the efficiency of transmitting acoustic signals through fiber optic cable by converting the signal to red light. By guiding me through the scientific process, my mentors opened my eyes to the world of research and played an important role in kick starting my science career. I had a blast with the project and caught the science bug!
I then attended Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where I graduated with a BS in Chemistry and an BA in Spanish. While there, I was fortunate to spend four years in an organic chemistry lab doing research with Dr. Jeremy McCallum on Guanine-quadraplex formations. I worked on developing various syntheses, learning NMR analysis and modeling molecular structures. Through these experiences, I realized my excitement for physics and my interests in interdisciplinary research.
In 2010, I spent the summer at Rutgers University for the Research in Ocean Sciences (RIOS) REU program. Working with John Wilkin, I developed a project looking at the connections between sediment, optics, and productivity in the Delaware estuary. After just 10 weeks of working on this project, I found myself hooked on physical oceanography and knew I wanted to study it further.
I spent 2011-2016 pursuing my PhD in physical oceanography at Rutgers University working with Bob Chant and John Wilkin. Expanding on my REU work, I developed a project to look at sediment dynamics within Delaware’s estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM). Utilizing both observations and numerical modeling, the project related circulation features to sediment transport and explored the implications for the optical environment, productivity, and biogeochemistry. With the support of the Department of Marine and Coastal Science at Rutgers and an NSF graduate research fellowship, I had the opportunity to delve headfirst into the oceanographic community and develop as an estuarine physicist.
In January 2017, I did a short a postdoc at Scripps Institute of Oceanography working with Falk Feddersen and Sarah Giddings. There, I developed a numerical model of the Tijuana river estuary and inner-shelf to look at connectivity between the estuary and nearshore. That project was motivated by contaminant river plumes that impact beaches in Mexico and San Diego.
In September 2017, I started a postdoc at Oregon State University with Jim Lerczak and Jack Barth studying the shoreward propagation of non-linear internal waves (NLIWs) on the inner-shelf of central California. While we know that NLIWs play an important role in inner-shelf dynamics, there is uncertainty about their relative importance compared to other contributing mechanisms, such as wind and surface gravity waves. In this project, we use data from both shipboard surveys and a mooring array offshore of the California coastal town Oceano, just north of Point Sal, to evaluate how NLIWs impact inner-shelf circulation.
I have had incredible mentors each step of my journey, and I am so appreciative of their guidance and support. I love what I do and feel lucky to explore the world of science everyday!