I arrived at MBARI in December 1996 after a PhD from UCLA, PostDoctoral Fellowship at Hopkins Marine Station (Stanford University), and three years as a marine biology Lecturer at Flinders University of South Australia.

As the senior education and research specialist, my role involves several different projects: seminar coordinator, summer internship coordinator, distance education, links between the research institute and other partners, and other projects that I haven’t begun yet. Please see our educational resources page for links. I am also very invested in Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts both here at MBARI and elsewhere.

Present Research Interests

I am interested in the open ocean and deep sea communities with particular emphasis on invertebrates. Specific areas of interest include: Ecology and biogeography of open ocean and deep sea organisms; Functional morphology, natural history, and behavior of pelagic and benthic organisms; Systematics and evolution of ctenophores and cnidarians (molecular phylogeny). I am also very committed towards education at the undergraduate and graduate level.




University of California at Berkeley (1980 – 1984)
A.B. degree conferred May 1984; Marine Botany emphasis
University of California, Los Angeles (1985 – 1990)
Ph.D. degree conferred Dec. 1990



External Service

  • 2021-2023 AGU LANDInG (Leadership Academy and Network for Diversity and Inclusion in the Geosciences) cohort
  • 2021-current National Association of Marine Laboratories DEI committee
  • 2018-20 NAS Committee on Biological Collections: Their past, present, and future contributions and options for sustaining them.
  • 2018 NSF Integrative Programs Committee of Visitors
  • 2018 Consortium for Ocean Leadership Ocean Science Educators Retreat
  • 2017 Recognized as an ASLO Fellow
  • 2017 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Proposal panel
  • 2015-2018 Organizing committee for the 15th Deep Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey 2018
  • 2014 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Research Proposal panel.
  • 2014 External reviewer of National Academy of Sciences Board on Science Education (BOSE) workshop summary on Exploring the Overlap between “Literacy in Science” and the Practice of Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information: A Workshop
  • 2013-2015 National Research Council Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences
  • 2013-2014 NAS Committee on the Value and Sustainability of Biological Field Stations, Marine Laboratories, and Natural Resources in 21st Century Science, Education, and Public Outreach
  • 2013-2016 Chair of the ASLO Margalef Education Award Committee
  • 2010-current National Marine Educators Association co-chair of Traditional Ecological Knowledge Committee
  • 2010-2016 National Marine Educators Association Board Member
  • 2008-2009 National Academies of Sciences Committee to review NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique
  • 2008-2013 National Academies of Sciences Ocean Studies Board
  • 2008-2011 Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) Advisory Board Member
  • 2004-2006 National Academies of Sciences Committee to provide an Evaluation of the Sea Grant Program Review Process
  • 2003-2011 Centers for Ocean Science Education and Excellence (COSEE) National Advisory Board
  • 2003-2009 Camp SEALab Advisory Board Member
  • 1998-2009 Friends of Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Sciences Board Member
  • 1997-current MBNMS Education Panel