My interests in ecology began at a young age as I interned with the Lawrence Hall of Science and Berkeley Botanical Garden, teaching youth biology classes. I took a more marine focus as a student at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) where I joined the Sea Otter Research and Conservation program (SORAC), partnering with UCSC, US Geological Service, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolution, I continued with SORAC and pursued a career with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. For six years I performed field-work and developed the photography catalogue for the long-term diversity database of Northern California.
During this time I was fortunate to live and work abroad. I assisted with a variety of research programs including whale shark photo identification in Bahia de los Angeles, Mexico, and participate in Wildland Studies Program of CSU Monterey Bay throughout the country of Belize. I am thrilled to be a member of Dr. Gitte McDonald’s Vertebrate Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and am interested in the use and development of remote monitoring systems to better understand marine vertebrate behavior and physiology. For my thesis I worked with Sea Otter Savvy to assess the energetic cost of human disturbance on the southern sea otter.
Heather defended her thesis titled "The energetic cost of anthropogenic disturbance on the Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)" in 2019. You can read her thesis manuscript here.