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In March 2021 I was selected to be a Hugh C. Morris Fellow. The H.C.M Fellowship supports graduate students in exploring their curiosities and furthering their knowledge through a journey of experiential learning. I was beyond thrilled to receive this once in a life time opportunity!


Over the next year (COVID-19 pending ), I will visit several institutions to explore new ideas, learn new methods, and develop new collaborations which will help me finish my PhD, and gain a better understanding of phytoplankton research. Here's my journey so you can experience it too. 

A big journey across a tiny cell: exploring phytoplankton growth in a changing climate

Phytoplankton are microscopic, plant-like organisms that inhabit the world’s oceans. Through photosynthesis, they capture large amounts of carbon dioxide and underpin marine food webs. Human-induced climate change is altering ocean temperature, nutrient composition, and other environmental variables. We currently have a limited understanding of how these changes will affect phytoplankton growth and physiology. By studying phytoplankton cells, we begin to uncover how a changing climate affects their growth, and subsequently, their ability to influence and interact with critical Earth processes such as carbon cycling and food web dynamics. My Hugh Morris Experiential Learning Program takes me to five countries and several institutions to explore cutting-edge techniques and methods of studying phytoplankton cell biology and ecology.

Leg 1 - MetalGate Expedition - Iceland/Greenland

I joined a research vessel from the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research and circumnavigated Iceland to study phytoplankton dynamics in the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian Sea region. Read more here.


Leg 2 - J. Craig Venter Institute & Scripps Institution of Oceanography - USA

I visited Dr. Andy Allen's lab at JCVI / SIO to learn about gene editing tools in diatoms.  Read more here.

Leg 3 - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - USA

I joined the Saito Lab at WHOI to learn about synthesizing peptide standards for mass spectrometry using an E. coli overexpression system. Read more here.

Leg 4 - The Marine Biological Association - Plymouth, UK

I had the most incredible experience visiting Dr. Katherine Helliwell at the MBA in Plymouth to learn about phytoplankton signaling! Blog post to come soon. 


Leg 5 - The University of Cambridge - Cambridge, UK

I am currently visiting Dr. Ross Waller in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge to learn about spatial proteomics methods!  More to come soon. 

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