Michaela Melanson

I graduated from UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2020 and enrolled in MLML in the Fall of 2020. This makes me a third year student who is planning to defend in the Spring of 2023. At UCSD I was able to work in several research labs: Stuart Sandin and Jennifer Smith’s Coral Reef Ecology Lab and the 100 Island Research Project, Bryce Semmens’ Lab and CCFRP, and worked under PhD student Jeremiah Minich where I was able to be a co-author on my first publication concerning microbiomes of aquacultured fish (link). I also had the chance to study abroad at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia and had the opportunity to perform research projects on Moreton Bay Research Station and Heron Island Research Station.

My thesis concerns the trophic ecology and mercury concentrations of Canary Rockfish along the California Current System. My thesis work will inform ecosystem-based fisheries management and provide data concerning mercury pollution in mid-level trophic organisms that are commercially and recreationally consumed along the U.S. West Coast. I am very interested in the intersection of science and policy and hope to pursue a career in fisheries management upon graduation. My past internships through MLML have provided me the opportunity to work for N.O.A.A and The Nature Conservancy through paid internships exploring the scientific and managerial requirements of several highly migratory oceanic species, and I picture myself pursuing a career in a similar field.