Kelsey Montalto

Kelsey graduated from California State University, Fresno through the Smittcamp Family Honors College in the Spring of 2022 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish. Her research career started through the Coastal Marine Education and Research Academy (CMERA) in Clearwater, FL as a chief scientist in the summers of 2020 and 2021. There, she was able to participate in shark and ray data collection and tagging research working alongside Dr. Carlos Polo-Silva and Dr. Angelica Barrera-García. She was then able to use the data collected by the program for her undergraduate honors thesis which focused on drivers of elasmobranch diversity with the help of Dr. David Lent. Specifically, she looked at whether fishing inside or outside of protected parks, along with other abiotic factors, had a significant role in model predictions.

Kelsey joined the Ichthyology Lab in the Fall of 2022. Her research interests include exploring the ecological impacts of macrofaunal changes on ecosystems, especially when regarding conservation and sustainability. For her thesis project, Kelsey will be working with Dr. Salvador Jorgensen to investigate juvenile white shark and otter interactions along the Pacific West coast. She has also spent some time this past season working for the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program as a science crew member out on research trips. When not in the field or analyzing data, Kelsey enjoys drawing, listening to/playing music, learning hands-on skills, and staying active with friends.