The ocean is full of life, most of which you cannot see with the naked eye, or perhaps have never heard of. Though marine mammals and fishes usually get the spotlight, marine invertebrates make up the majority of organisms in the ocean. They comprise over 30 phyla, ranging from echinoderms (e.g. sea urchins) to cnidarians (e.g. jellyfish) to crustaceans. Many of these animals have a planktonic larval stage, in which they are particularly sensitive to environmental stressors. It is important to understand how future ocean conditions, such as ocean acidification, will influence this life stage, since they serve crucial ecological functions.
Under Dr. Karen Chan’s advising, my research aim is to improve understanding of these changing ecological interactions. Specifically: How do plankton larvae settlement and settlement-associated behaviors change under ocean acidification?
I graduated with my B.S. in Biology from Wofford College in the US, where I investigated the effects of linoleic and oleic acid on tastant consumption in rats. I also worked with purification and crystallization of N-Formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase from Moorella thermoacetica. After graduating, I volunteered with the Department of Natural Resources to do estuarine field work, and with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to quantify PCBs in sea turtles. Later, I worked at the University of Pittsburgh learning how to record post-synaptic activity in the seizure and cocaine-addiction contexts. I also greatly enjoy teaching, and taught in mainland China for three years.
Division of Life Science
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Photos by Dr. Karen Chan. Last updated on September 11, 2017
LIFS, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong