Meet out REU Student of Summer 2023- Carissa Tinney

Carissa Tinney- REU Student of Summer 2023


My name is Carissa Tinney and I am a biochemistry major with a minor in environmental studies at California State University, Sacramento and am part of CSUMB’s REU (research experience for undergraduates) program this summer. I will be working with Dr. Holly Bowers and Olivia Pawlyk at MLML’s Environmental Biotechnology Lab studying how agricultural microplastics impact phytoplankton. My interests lie in environmental biotechnology, with special interest in water quality and algae. In my free time I love to read, garden, cook and travel when I can. I’m very excited to work at the lab this summer and learn as much as possible!

Recap of Summer 2022

What a busy and productive summer this lab has had!! This past summer we had three student workers (Olivia Pawlyk, Jasmine Ruiz, and Hannah McGrath) in the lab alongside Dr. Holly Bowers. Olivia was working on the EPA grant. This included prepping for experiments, setting up mesocosm bag experiments, preliminary flask experiments, and growing/isolating cultures in the incubator. Jasmine was brought in from UC Santa Cruz to help with CenCOOS Monterey Wharf sampling. This happens every Wednesday morning. This is a collaborative project with other locations along the California coast ( It allows us to see a snapshot of what phytoplankton communities are populating in different locations at the same time. Hannah is a new incoming MLML student! The last couple weeks of August she came into the lab to shadow Jasmine because she will eventually take that job over. We are excited for the rest of the year!