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, and 3) 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.