Meet our current MRM-ers!

Hannah Brachfeld

Advisor: Hilary Boudet
renewable energy • offshore wind • ocean policy

After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry from Loyola University of Chicago, I earned a commission in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, serving on two ships and earning the title of Nuclear Engineering Officer. This led me to my current research investigating Department of Defense and Coast Guard involvement in Marine Renewable Energy siting and policy, with a focus on offshore wind energy off the coast of Oregon and Virginia. My goals are to transition from an active duty military role to a policy-focused renewable energy position, combine skills from my military experience and the interdisciplinary MRM program, and work as part of a team to fight for a cleaner future for everyone.

Lara Breitzkruetz

Advisors: Ryan Mueller and Fiona Tomas Nash
climate • eelgrass • estuaries • restoration

Hailing from the Southeastern U.S., I earned my B.S. in Environmental Science from Duke University in 2020. Making my way to the Pacific Northwest, I worked as a fisheries technician in Idaho. Now as a grad student in MRM, I am studying the mechanisms and drivers of eelgrass recovery in South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Oregon. My goal is to pursue a career conducting interdisciplinary coastal ecosystem science that informs management solutions in an era of climate change.

Rhiannon Carlile

Advisor: Lorenzo Ciannelli
climate change • coastal communities • fisheries

I am from Papillion, Nebraska and received my bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My focus during undergrad was freshwater systems until I studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands where I learned about the implications of management in tropical marine ecosystems. My research interests currently include the impacts of the spatial distribution of west coast groundfish on management and coastal communities. My goal for the future is to pursue a Ph.D. in a similar field and either stay in academia, or work for a federal agency like NOAA. I hope to be a bridge between natural and social science where I can work to improve the management of natural resources for the benefit of the environment and human society.

Greg Christie

Advisor: Mark Lomeli
bycatch reduction • conservation engineering • fisheries

Growing up inland in Paradise, CA, my interest in the ocean blossomed with my family's summer vacations visiting my grandparents in Half Moon Bay, CA. After concluding my undergraduate studies in Marine Biology and Chemistry at UC Santa Cruz in 2016, I found employment as a Fisheries Observer conducting fisheries dependent surveys aboard commercial trawl vessels in Alaska. In 2021, I had an opportunity to work with NOAA's fishery independent survey. The lead scientists aboard inspired me to go back to school. At Oregon State, I now work on reducing bycatch in commercial fishing. Our first project tested a semi-demersal longline to reduce the catch of yelloweye rockfish in the Pacific halibut fishery. The second project tested the efficacy of a sorting grid in allowing escapement of juvenile sablefish for the bottom trawl fishery. I plan to use this background to help manage west coast fisheries towards the most sustainable future possible.

Savannah Clax

Advisor: Jessica Miller
climate change • fisheries • hypoxia

Originally from the midwest, I attended Savannah State University where I earned a B.S. in Marine Sciences. During my time as an undergrad, I got involved in research regarding otoliths and climate impacts. My current research combines these two topics as I look at the effects of hypoxia and temperature on Petrale Sole growth using otoliths. My future goals include working in coastal resource management and finding better ways marine science can be communicated to the general public.

Jessica Cunningham

Advisors: Sarah Gravem and Bruce Menge
conservation • education • policy • restoration

I grew up in Lodi, an agricultural town in Northern California, and attended UC Santa Barbara, earning a B.S. in Physical Geography with an Ocean Science emphasis and minor in Earth Science. During my undergraduate career, I contributed to ecological restoration projects and monitored milkweed growth with Monarch butterfly populations. My current research interests encompass ocean science education and policy as they pertain to restoration and conservation efforts. My ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between technical science and comprehension in our communities to empower future generations to make informed decisions.

Emily Hicks

Advisor: Tracy Crews

Formerly from North Idaho, I transferred to OSU and graduated with a B.S. in Ocean Studies in 2022.  Having found my academic home, as a grad student in MRM I am currently working on determining the perceptions that growers, restauranteurs, and individual consumers have towards the growing presence of the invasive mud blister worm (Polydora spp.) on aquacultured Pacific Oysters along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Professionally, I hope to continue to work with (and against!) invasive species along the West Coast. I also intend to use any position I attain to further the engagement of female-identifying youth in STEM fields.

Jamon Jordan

Advisor: Maria Kavanaugh
climate change • fisheries • national marine sanctuaries

Born and raised in GA, my love for fish began early, fishing with my dad from age two. In middle school, my goal was set: work for NOAA. I earned a degree from the University of Georgia in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Natural Resources Management with an emphasis on Aquatic Science and GIS. Combining my interests in fish, spatial ecology, and remote sensing, I'm currently researching habitat distributions of swordfish in the proposed Chumash National Marine Sanctuary in California. My ultimate aim remains joining NOAA, with a growing interest in bridging policy and research for oceanic remote sensing.

Jake Marshall

Advisor: Mary Hunsicker
climate change • fisheries • offshore wind energy

I was born and raised in San Diego and attended UCLA where I earned my B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. There, I began my research career investigating the effects of environmental drivers on forage fish distributions. I am now working with Mary Hunsicker (NOAA, NWFSC) on exploring the effects of climate change on Pacific hake distributions, focusing on how those distribution changes overlap with the development of offshore wind energy areas in Oregon. My goal is to continue conducting scientific research aimed at informing sustainable management of our marine resources.

Matthew Noto

Advisor: Jessica Garwood
coastal communities • dunes • human dimensions

Born in Brooksville, Florida, a small country town at the start of the Floridian Panhandle, I started my working career working drywall and framing until I decided to go to the University of South Florida for Geology in 2013. My undergraduate degree led me to develop an interest in Hydrogeology, which led to a career with Geosyntec Consultants. After three and a half years, I joined the Peace Corps in the Philippines as a Marine Resource Management Volunteer. Due to COVID-19 I was evacuated and found myself in the Keys working on marine debris. After a brief stint, I moved to Korea, Montana, and other parts of the world developing an interest in Social Science and Conservation Marketing. This has led me to the Marine Resource Management program at OSU, where I am studying the values and perceptions of communities along the Oregon Coast toward dunes. My ultimate goal is to start my own company as an environmental and conservation marketer, and possibly one day create documentaries as a medium to share scientists’ information with the public.

Marlena Penn

Advisor: Steve Rumrill
aquaculture • climate change • oysters

Originally from New Jersey, I have a B.S. in biology (with a minor in chemistry) from the University of Tampa. While I was an undergraduate, I worked as a divemaster at The Florida Aquarium and participated in research refining an analytical method for detection of nanomolar quantities of nutrients in seawater. After graduation, I worked as a biological scientist in a molecular pharmacology and physiology lab for two years. My current MRM research aims to understand how Olympia oysters may be affected by climate change by using a space-for-time experiment in Yaquina Bay. My goal is to continue to work in coastal/ocean monitoring and provide science that’s relevant to and used in management decisions.

Diania Remy

Advisor: Susan Rowe
coastal communities • communication • conservation • education

Born in Miami, Florida, my connection to the ocean has always been strong, and a part of my Caribbean roots. I have a B.S. in Environment and Society from Florida State University. Towards the end of my undergrad, I worked in the Office of STEM Teaching Activities (OSTA), which revived my passion for educating the public about the wonders of our ocean. I am currently studying effective teaching methods to incorporate into informal teaching environments, with a focus on underserved communities. My goal is to help cultivate stronger relationships between people and nature, especially for those who lack access to nature.

Lauren Rice

Co-Advisors: Karen McLeod and Ana Spalding
adaptive capacity • climate change • coastal communities • ocean acidification

Having (mostly) always lived near the Oregon coast, I feel instinctively motivated to conserve oceans and the livelihoods of those relying upon them. As I pursued a B.S. in Marine Studies and a psychology minor as an undergraduate, I developed a passion for studying how social and oceanographic processes mutually influence each other. This led me to MRM where I am researching the capacity of U.S. West Coast commercial shellfish farmers/harvesters to adapt to various stressors. Alongside adaptive capacity, my interests include social psychology, ocean acidification, and education & outreach. My long-term goals include becoming a conservation social scientist, contributing to applied community-based research efforts, and keeping my massive houseplant collection alive!

Chandra Schulte

Advisor: Jennifer Fehrenbacher
climate change • coastal communities • foraminifera • ocean acidification

In 2017 I earned my undergraduate B.Sc. degree in Aquatic and Marine Biology from Stetson University in DeLand, FL. After college, I worked at multiple environmental and drinking water laboratories. My time working as a professional scientist sparked an interest in chemistry and solidified my desire to pursue a graduate degree. My current research focuses on microscopic marine calcifiers known as foraminifera. I am exploring the relationship between foraminifera shells, made of calcium carbonate, and ocean acidification (OA) off the coast of Oregon. Due to climate change, OA is a crucial environmental issue that can impact coastal communities and commercial fisheries. My goal is to conduct interdisciplinary science that can contribute both to the scientific community and to coastal communities, industries, and environmental management.

Sarah Stone

Advisor: Lorenzo Ciannelli
climate change • coastal communities • fisheries • socioeconomic impacts

Originally from Fernandina Beach, Florida, I moved to South Carolina to earn my B.S. in both Economics and International Business at the University of South Carolina. While completing my undergraduate degree, I became involved in research regarding the impacts of climate change on zooplankton. My current research interests focus on the impacts of climate change on ecologically and commercially important fishes across multiple life history stages, as well as analyzing the socioeconomic impact changes in fish stocks have on communities. My ultimate goal is to conduct interdisciplinary science, synthesizing natural and social science data for use by natural resource managers and community stakeholders.

Jenna Travers

Advisor: Michael Harte
climate change • fisheries • invasive species • policy • socioeconomic impacts

Growing up bouncing between living on the east and west coast, I developed a love of oceans, marine animals, and coastal communities from a young age. I earned my B.S. in Marine Biology at the University of Oregon where I studied the impacts of glacier retreat on salmon populations and the communities that rely on them before transitioning to Oregon State University's MRM program to continue my work studying the impacts of salmon declines and invasions on communities. My current research uses a mixed methods approach to evaluate the socioeconomic, policy, and genetic implications of bioinvasive populations of Pacific salmon in the Alaskan Arctic and Chilean Antarctic/Falkland Islands with Michael Harte. I have worked as an intern with local environmental nonprofits, the Oregon state legislature, and the US Forest Service on environmental management and policy issues, and I currently work as a writer for GlacierHub, a news organization that covers glaciers and mountain communities. My long-term goal is to work in watershed management with a nonprofit or government agency, taking a holistic and community-led approach to manage the entire watershed from mountains to estuaries.

Michael (Mick) Weingartner

Advisor: Angee Doerr
food production • invasive species • management • policy

Originally from Alaska, I grew up with a deep respect for and interest in human interactions with marine systems.  I spent five years in Washington, DC working first for a climate change nonprofit, then for a member of Congress in the Senate across a wide range of legislative policies. Before coming to Oregon State University, I also spent two years working for an algae aquaculture operation where I developed an interest and experience in marine food production. My research interests include the human side of coastal resource management, and my current research involves assessing the needs and priorities of coastal stakeholders in the management of the invasive green crab (C. maenas). My long-term goals are to contribute to the development of state and/or federal policies at the nexus of climate change impacts, marine ecosystems, and food production.

Go to the Marine Resource Management Program page