CV

Education

Ph.D. in progress, Marine ecology and pollution with a concentration in public policy, Advised by Dr. Emily Carrington, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Expected September 2020.

B.A. with Honors, Biological Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, June 2014.

Current Research

Organism: Laboratory experiments examining how increasing concentrations of microplastics versus other abiotic particle (silt) impacts clearance rates of marine mussels.

Ecosystem: Laboratory experiments on how microplastics alter the benthic-pelagic coupling role of marine mussels, specifically examining sinking and resuspension rates of biodeposits.

Environment: Quantifying microplastic concentration along an urban gradient in the Salish Sea, Washington. Work includes mussel, water, and sediment sampling, chemical digestion, density separation, vacuum filtration, microscope visualization, and Raman spectroscopy.

Policy: Understanding how the field of marine microplastics and national plastic policies have grown and spread globally utilizing information mining techniques.

Public Talks

Tedx UW Talk, “The Microplastic Problem,” Seattle, WA, 2020.*

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Issaquah, WA, 2020.*

Open Mic Science, Bainbridge Island, WA, 2020.*

Action Network Speaker Series on Plastic, Chautauqua Elementary School, Vashon Island, WA, 2020

Seattle Children’s Film Festival, Seattle, WA, 2020.

Volcan Mountain Foundation Invited Lecture, San Diego, CA, 2019.

Winner, Seattle Science Slam #14, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Marine Debris, Pint Sized Science, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Plastic pollution in local waters, Plastic pollution workshop, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Ignite talk, MADart Gallery, Seattle, WA, 2018.

*Cancelled due to COVID-19

Science Presentations

Ocean Sciences Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2020.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Seattle, WA, 2020.

Best Talk, Western Society of Naturalists, Ensenada, Mexico, 2019.

Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Portland, OR, 2019.

Western Society of Naturalists, Tacoma, WA, 2018.

Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, Blaine, WA, 2018.

Microplastic pollution impacts on marine mussels,” WRC NOAA Open House, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Graduate Student Symposium, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, San Francisco, CA, 2018

Graduate Student Symposium, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2017.

Graduate Climate Conference, Pack Forest, WA, 2016.

Metcalf Fellowship Symposium Presentation, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 2014.

Fellowships, Awards, and Honors

Honorable Mention, AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award, 2020.

Nominee, Excellence in Teaching, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2020.

Kathryn C. Hahn Writing Fellowship, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2019.

Best Student Talk, Ecosystem Ecology, Western Society of Naturalists, Ensenada, Mexico, 2019.

WRF Hall Endowment for Graduate Student Excellence in Biology. Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2019.

Edmonson Award, $2000, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2019.

Friday Harbor Laboratories Research Award, $800. University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2019.

Robert T. Paine Experimental and Field Ecology Endowed Fund, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2019.

Edmonson Award, $3000, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2019.

Resident scientist for the Marjorie and Joseph Rubenson Endowment for Art and Science on Volcan Mountain, $2000, Volcan Mountain, CA, 2019.

Carrington Travel Grant, $400, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2018.

Pamela Roe Graduate Student Endowed Fellowship, $2000, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2018.

Wingfield/Ramenofsky Award, $700, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Edmonson Award, $3500, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2018.

Friday Harbor Laboratories Research Fellowship, $450, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2017.

Carrington Travel Grant, $600, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2017.

Strathmann Fellowship, $1400, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2017.

Washington SeaGrant Fellowship, Carrington and Friedman No. NA14OAR4170078, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA 2016

Strathmann Fellowship, $4000, Friday Harbor Laboratories, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, 2016.

Edmonson Award, $3500, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2015.

Metcalf Fellowship, granted by University of Chicago to work at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, 2014.

Dean’s List, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2011, 2013, and 2014.

Publications

Harris, L. S. T. and E. Carrington (2019) Impact of microplastic vs natural abiotic particles on the clearance rate of a marine mussel. Limnology and Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lol2.10120

Harris, L. S. T, H. Gill,and E. Carrington. In review. Microplastic changes the sinking and resuspension rates of marine mussel biodeposits

In-preparation manuscript – Harris, L. S. T, J. Fennell, R. Fales, and E. Carrington. Trends in microplastic research and public policies

In-preparation manuscript – Harris, L. S. T, S. Phan, and E. Carrington. Microplastic contamination of mussels along an urban gradient in the Salish Sea, Washington

In-preparation manuscript – Harris, L., Grubich, J., and Westneat, M., Kinematics and behavior of suction feeding in the lionfish, Pterois volitans.

In-preparation manuscript – Hanlon, H. and Harris, L., Rapid adaptive coloration observed in marine teleost fishes of the Caribbean.

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant, Dr. Ben Wiggins, Civilization Biology, University of Washington, WA, Summer Quarter 2018, 2019, 2020.

Guest Lecture, Foundations in Ecology, University of Washington, WA, Winter Quarter 2018.

Teaching Assistant, Dr. Hilary Hayford, Foundations in Ecology, University of Washington, WA, Winter Quarter 2018.

Research Assistant, Dr. Jan Newton, Dr. Matt Baker, Dr. Rebecca Guenther, Pelagic Ecosystem Functions of the San Juan Archipelago, FHL, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA Autumn Quarter 2017.

Teaching Assistant, Dr. Gustav Paulay and Dr. Peter Funch, Marine Invertebrate Zoology, FHL, University of Washington, Friday Harbor, WA, Summer Quarter 2017.

Teaching Assistant, Dr. Jennifer Ruesink, Marine Ecology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Spring Quarter 2017.

Teaching Assistant and Laboratory Leader, Dr. Fredrick Dooly, Dr. Jake Cooper, Dr. Scott Freeman, Introduction to Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Autumn 2015, and Winter Quarters 2016, 2017.

Teaching Assistant and Laboratory Leader, Dr. Daniel Schindler, Limnology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Autumn Quarter 2016, 2018.

Teaching Assistant and Quiz Section Leader, Dr. Michael Kennedy, Foundation of Physiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, Spring Quarter 2016, 2018, 2019.  

Teaching Assistant, Dr. Eric Larsen, Natural History of North American Deserts, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Spring Quarter 2014.

Teaching Assistant and Laboratory Instructor, Dr. Beatrice Fineschi, Core Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters 2013-2014.

Selected Reviews

“I think this was a great discussion section because it stayed on topic and remained intriguing. Lyda did a great job of pushing us to understand the information, but I did not feel overwhelmed. One of the better TA’s I’ve had here at UW!”

Foundations of Physiology

“Lyda was very personable, and added more to the discussion session than just a TA standing in front of the class. She gave great explanations, when I couldn’t understand the question or didn’t know how to give an answer. I also appreciated that she would make sure we still understood the topic even when there were section changes. I always felt welcomed and comfortable asking questions, even if I didn’t know.”

Foundations of Physiology

“Lyda encouraged us to explore beyond the text and expand our knowledge through !fun facts!”

Introductory Biology

“I would like to recognize my TA Lyda Harris because she has shown that she wants us to succeed in this class and beyond, she notes what we struggle with and sends us information about these areas outside of class; she has made a difference in our class.”

Introductory Biology

“Lyda is an amazing TA and I think she will do great things in the field of Biology in the future.”

Introductory Biology

 “Lyda is easily my favorite TA I’ve had at UW. She was incredibly knowledgeable and challenged the students to think critically. She seemed to actually care if people understood the material and wanted us to succeed.”

Introductory Biology

 “Lyda is an awesome TA, she is nice, personable, relatable, and really cares about her students!”

Foundations of Ecology

 “Quiz section was great, definitely helped me understand material from class on a deeper level. Lyda’s office hours were super helpful every week and she would be able to help work through any misunderstandings/questions I had. also, she just genuinely cares so much about her students which I feel is pretty rare, definitely made this class way more enjoyable.”

Foundations of Physiology

 “I like the enthusiasm, optimism and humor of Lyda”

Foundations of Physiology

 “Lyda was a fantastic TA, I LOVE her fun facts, she is incredibly interesting and great at succinctly explaining tough concepts.”

Foundations of Physiology

 “Lyda was my best TA probably of my entire academic career- her enthusiasm for the subject is contagious. She was like a bright little piece of sunshine and it was always a joy to see her in so early in the morning. I’m very grateful that she taught this quiz section that way because I struggled with this class, but her person made it a little better. Plus, she always had some kind of uplifting, morale boosting thing to say and it always reassured me some.”

Foundations of Physiology

Previous Non-Graduate Research Experience

Metcalf Fellow, Dr. Roger Hanlon, Marine Biological Laboratories, Woods Hole, MA, 2014.

  • Video analyses of field behavior and color change in a variety of fishes; emphasis on the speed of change of coloration.
  • Live animal experiments and observations of flounder rapid adaptive coloration.
  • Morphological characterization of fish chromatophores using a variety of photographic, histological and microscopy techniques.

Research Intern, Dr. Mark Westneat and Dr. Justin Grubich, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago and Fishes Division, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, 2013-2014.

  • Lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) metadata measurement and analysis.
  • Kinematics profile of lionfish ( volitans) through high speed video and computational analysis in ImageJ.
  • Georeference historic fish collections around the world and map onto a single interface.

Research Assistant, Dr. Stephen Pruett-Jones Laboratory, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago IL, 2013.

  • Preformed literary research, data analysis, and data summaries of various bird species.
  • Compiled life histories of parrots found in US.

Laboratory Assistant, Dr. Cathy Pfister and Dr. Tim Wootton, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2012.

  • Prepared and compile data sets from summer field season.
  • Prepared plankton and algal samples for composition testing.

Field Assistant, Dr. Cathy Pfister and Dr. Tim Wootton, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Sekiu and Tatoosh Island, WA, 2012.

  • Measured oceanic pH levels, algal growth, competitive interactions, and nitrogen fixation in community plots as well as in small oxygen tight chambers. Work was done in intertidal, surface waters, and subtidal environments.
  • Researched in remote intertidal mainland and isolated island sites as well as offshore deep water sites accessed by boat.
  • Field work review published in New York Times; Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellweather, Oct 6, 2012.

 Additional Work Experience

Scientific writer, “Sea to Source” k-12 curriculum, Educurious and National Geographic, Seattle, WA, 2019.

Field Technician and Art Director, Harris Environmental Group Inc. Tucson, AZ, 2012-2015.

Conducted field work on wetlands and desert habitats. Organized and selected photos and media.

Barista, Ex libris Coffee Shop, University of Chicago. Chicago, IL, 2011-2014.

Prepared espresso and coffee drinks in the University library.

Independent Tutor, Math Tutor, Tucson AZ, 2010-2012.

Prepared students for high school math classes and standardized tests.

Student Organizations

Editor, Science Positive Blog (UW Biology graduate students), University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2019-2020.

President, Sound Scholars, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2018-Present.

Member, Graduate Programming Committee, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2016-Present.

Member, Senior Class Gift Committee, raised over $97,000, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2013-2014.

Senior Mentor, Student Leadership Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2013-2014.

Sport Club Finance Committee, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2011-2014.

President, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2010-2014.

Project Leader, Student Leadership Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2012-2013.

Ambassador, Sustainable Actions for a Greener Environment (SAGE), University of Chicago, Chicago IL, 2012-2013.

Pole Vault, Women’s Varsity Track, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2010-2013.

Relevant Skills 

Microplastic techniques:

  • Chemical microplastic isolation
  • QA/QC protocol development
  • Sampling & extraction protocol development
  • Microscope work
  • Raman Spectroscopy
  • FTIR spectroscopy

Marine field and laboratory techniques:

  • Intertidal quadrate sampling
  • Plankton tow & rosette collection
  • Certified PADI open water SCUBA
  • Kayaking
  • High speed filming
  • Photo analysis
  • Fish tagging
  • Vertebrate and invertebrate animal care

Computer:

  • Microsoft Word, Power Point, & Excel
  • Final Cut Pro
  • R (programming language)
  • ImageJ
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Digital media

Language – Intermediate Spanish level

Social Butterfly – Organize happy hours, recruitment events, invertebrate balls, and class trips

Jam connoisseur – First place & people’s choice for blackberry jam at the San Juan County Fair 2017, 2018