Spotlight is a series that profiles Faculty, Researchers, Students and Post Docs working in the Coastal and Marine Sciences Carina Fish Corals are one of the most iconic images of the ocean, offering a spectacular scenery of vibrant, underwater castles for snorkelers and divers. But for marine biogeochemist Carina Fish, these vacation spots aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. Corals are biological time capsules, making them a perfect toolset for Fish to utilize as she uncovers stories about the Earth’s past. Kate Lane For many people, studying large mammals or vibrant, multicolored birds is their dream come true. But for Kate Lane, microscopic organisms like bacteria are her passion. Lorenzo Ray Olano There is a certain warmth that accompanies Lorenzo Ray Olano as he moves through the world. For someone working toward becoming a veterinarian, this ability to lighten a room will undoubtedly transform his practice into something great. But as an animal science major, he didn’t expect he’d find a path that included aquatic animals too. Aaron Ninokawa In the third grade, few of us knew what we wanted to spend our life doing. For Aaron Ninowaka, he knew it involved understanding fish behavior which, as a ten-year-old, he hoped would equate to catching more fish. Over time, his love of fishing guided him through two degrees from Cal State Fullerton; a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. Dr. Marissa Baskett When I started graduate school, I had a number of different interests and scientific passions: mathematical biology, evolutionary biology, conservation science, and marine systems. My PhD advisor suggested looking into papers on marine reserves, then a fairly new topic, as a way to combine all of these interests. Dr. Susan Williams Dr. Susan Williams (1951 –2018) was an internationally recognized Marine Biologist and UC Davis based professor of marine biology whose research pushed the boundaries of science and redefined international policy. "I wanted to be an oceanographer since second grade, without understanding what that meant other than being fascinated by "things" that washed up on the beach during seaside family vacations. I was always interested in science, including failed experiments to make my younger sister disappear." Cassie Ettinger “As a kid, I was always really interested in science, I even had my own microscope! My mom played a big role in making sure I got a diverse education and was really supportive of my love of science - so I got to attend zoo camp and museum camp, after-school science classes, etc. However - it was actually my dad who got me interested in genetics. James Sanchirico When I was an undergraduate I was interested in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. While doing my honor’s thesis, I stumbled across writings from various researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington DC, and they really made an impression on me. Ronald Tjeerdema Growing up, I was always interested in the great outdoors and loved spending time in the mountains both hiking and camping. Living in Orange County, my numerous days at the beach also fostered my love for the environment. Rachel Sniderman I’m responsible for BML student outreach, which means spreading the word about the opportunities available in Bodega Bay and helping students actually get out there! My biggest desire is to spread the word of the newly founded Marine and Coastal Science major and involve undergraduate students. Dr. John Largier As associate director of the Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, John Largier is known by many both inside and outside of CMSI, working in California as well as along the eastern boundaries of other continents. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and attended the University of Cape Town for both his B.S. in applied math and physics and his Ph.D. in oceanography. Dr. Jay Stachowicz I’m Jay Stachowicz. I’m in the department of evolution and ecology at UC Davis. I have been at Davis for about almost 16 years. I grew up in New England and I’m a lifelong east-coaster- the first time I came out to Davis was for my job interview. I guess it went ok because I’m still here. I’m a marine ecologist, so I study the patterns—both the causes and the consequences—of biodiversity in nature. Dr. Woutrina Smith CMSI is incredibly unique (and fortunate) as an organization to be able to unite so many distinguished researchers in such a variety of disciplines. Along with ecologists, oceanographers, hydrologists and many others, CMSI draws upon UC Davis’s world-renowned veterinary school to incorporate leaders in the field of wildlife medicine and ecosystem health. One such researcher is Dr. Woutrina Smith, an associate professor in infectious disease and epidemiology. Shay O'Farrell Oddly for a scientist, my undergraduate degree was actually in marketing, which I studied in my homeland of Ireland. But about 15 years ago, I started SCUBA diving in New Zealand and was just blown away by the underwater world. I then began a fairly long (but very scenic) route into science, first as a volunteer on various marine science projects, and then as a staff member as my experience grew. Brittany Jellison I am looking at the effects of climate change on species interactions. I’m particularly interested in how ocean acidification affects predator-prey interactions. Ocean acidification has been shown to affect fish behavior. Experiments on tropical fish have shown that reduced pH impairs their ability to home and detect predators. Dr. Howard Spero I have my Ph.D. in Biology, and I was very fortunate after I got my Master’s degree to have been in the right place at the right time. I was finishing up and didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I was giving a poster at an ASLO conference (Association for the Sciences Limnology and Oceanography). The guy next to me had a poster up about foraminifera and a sign that said, “looking for research assistants to go to Barbados for two years to scuba dive” and I couldn’t think of any reason not to apply for the position.