A large portion of who I am as a researcher and leader is due to the suite of mentors, both professors and graduate students, with whom I have worked. Broadening participation in the sciences, and providing access to a diverse pool of mentors is crucial for undergraduate development. I have mentored several undergraduate students ranging from work-study students, students working towards a senior thesis, NSF REUs, and research technicians. These students also come from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of interest in the field of marine science that has provided me with unique challenges and opportunities to provide students with meaningful experiences. In this vein, I also actively encourage students to become involved in research regardless of their previous experience.

My approach to mentorship is modeled under the belief that it is a concurrent learning experience where the ultimate goal is student development of independence. When students first start working in the lab, I immediately establish worth, that is, students are never assigned a menial endeavor; rather, I emphasize that all tasks are essential to the success of the lab, and no task is below what I too am willing to do. I then actively work with students to demonstrate proper field and in-lab methods and gradually decrease my direct involvement to that of an advisor rather than instructor.

In order to succeed as scientists, I ensure that my mentees expand their scientific knowledge base and develop the ability to independently conceive, conduct, and communicate research. Former mentees have presented at large, national conferences, moved onto become a research project managers, as well as graduate students.

Students Mentored

  • Maxwell Tice-Lewis (UNC-Chapel Hill)
  • Annabelle Mercer (Duke University)
  • David Barbarich (Plymouth University, UK)
  • Victoria Green (Duke University)
  • Angela Griffe (Duke University)
  • Samantha Huff (Duke University)
  • Nicole Roberts (Amherst University)
  • Rachel Cohn (Duke University)
  • Hannah Robinson (Duke University)
  • Carmen Hoyt (Duke University)
  • Anjali Boyd (Eckerd College)
  • Lucas Gomez (Brevard College)