What are invasive species and how do we manage them? Those are questions I’ve been interested in since I joined the FAST Lab in 2011 to work on my Master’s degree. To begin to address them, I studied the risk to coastal Alaskan ports from one of the largest vectors of marine invasive species, the ballast water of ships. My project introduced me to the evolving world of international, national, and local policy and regulations on ballast water management to help reduce invasive species introductions. I graduated in the spring of 2014 with a new appreciation and enthusiasm for the intersection of science and policy. I continue to pursue that theme in my current PhD program at Portland State University and as a Fellow with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Marine Invasions Lab. I’m currently exploring how commercial trade is a driver of shipping and invasive species introductions from ballast water in San Francisco Bay, CA, in ports throughout Alaska, and regionally around the coastal United States. I’m also interested in how we apply existing biosecurity tools from invaded locations to places that are focused on preventing invasive species, such as the Arctic.
I’m happy to be back with the FAST Lab as a Research Associate and look forward to expanding invasive species research into new directions. I’m always open to building partnerships for collaborative, interdisciplinary applied science.