L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship awarded to MBARI Postdoctoral Fellow Anela Choy

September 27, 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow Anela Choy standing in front of MBARI's remotely operated vehicle Ventana. Image courtesy of L'Oreal.

Postdoctoral Fellow Anela Choy in front of MBARI’s remotely operated vehicle Ventana. Image courtesy of L’Oreal.

MBARI Postdoctoral Fellow Anela Choy, who studies the impacts of plastic debris on ocean food webs, has been selected as one of five recipients of the L’Oreal Women in Science Fellowship for 2016. This award provides $60,000 to outstanding female scientists to advance their postdoctoral research.

Choy and the other awardees conduct research in a wide range of fields, from marine biology to neurology to astrophysics. Their qualifications were reviewed by scientists in the candidates’ respective fields through a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

According to Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L’Oréal USA, the researchers were selected both for “their innovative research” and their “dedication to inspiring the next generation of women in STEM” [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics]. He continued, “By providing support at a pivotal moment in their careers, we hope to empower them to further their work, continue on a path to become future leaders in their fields, and perhaps one day join our previous Laureates and win a Nobel Prize.”

Choy’s research focuses on ocean food webs and how they are affected by plastic pollution and environmental change. She is particularly interested in studying the chemical fingerprints of plastic as it is incorporated in the bodies of open-ocean animals.

In her former position at the University of Hawai‘i, Choy demonstrated her commitment to STEM education by helping set up a program called the SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge program, which supports and inspires Native Hawaiians and other underrepresented ethnic minorities to pursue studies in the ocean, earth, and environmental sciences.

On October 6, L’Oréal USA will host an award ceremony for the fellows in Washington, D.C. The newly selected fellows will also attend meetings and discussions about STEM and women in science at the White House and the National Academy of Sciences.


Video about Anela Choy’s research and the L’Oreal award: