My research focuses on microplastics in mussels in the Salish Sea. For my dissertation I am broadly studying 1) the impacts of microplastic vs silt on marine mussel filtration rates, 2) microplastic contamination in the Puget Sound and Salish Sea, 3) how micoplastics affect the benthic-pelagic coupling role of marine mussels, and 4) the framework in which we think about plastic pollution and policy.
I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where I developed a love for adventure and the outdoors. I attended University of Chicago for my undergrad degree, earning a B.A. in Biology. In college I found my way into a summer research position with Drs. Cathy Pfister and Tim Wootton out on the Olympic Peninsula and Tatoosh Island (WA) studying intertidal marine ecology. As an upperclassman I worked in a fish biomechanics lab with Dr. Mark Westneat studying lionfish feeding biomechanics. After I graduated I was a Metcalf Fellow at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA with Dr. Roger Hanlon studying color changing behavior of fishes.
All of my experiences led me to pursue a PhD studying the effects of microplastic on mussels and contamination levels in the Salish Sea. I am lucky to have done my work at Friday Harbor Laboratory on San Juan Island (WA), around the greater Western Washington area, and back out on the Olympic Peninsula.
I host an Instagram series @showmeyourmussel called Science Wednesday where I discuss different aspects of marine and environmental science in a fun and approachable format once a week. My twitter handle is @lydaofmylife. Check it out!
In addition to marine biology, science communication, and spending time outdoors, I am an avid frisbee player, playing in leagues and tournaments year round. During the summer months I play with Garbage, a mixed club Ultimate Frisbee team in Seattle, WA.