Check out what some of our marine biology graduates are up to, from the Class of 1984 to the Class of 2017!
In the marine biology realm, the world is your oyster—from aquaculture, fisheries, wildlife conservation, to ecosystem management. At my current job, I get to further explore my fascination with the Giant Keyhole Limpet while getting an insider’s view on how business and science work together. I hope to further my skills in aquaculture and research, and eventually pursue a graduate degree. I’m excited to explore my place in marine biology!
With everything I learned from the VRG, I got a coveted internship from The Bay Foundation in Santa Monica after graduation in 2014, participating in in restoring kelp forests around the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and monitoring wetlands in Los Angeles.
At the end of 2014, I decided to return to Vietnam and used all the skills and knowledge earned in the US, to start a stronger conservation effort for Vietnamese coral reefs and mangrove forests. By 2017, the plan has yet to materialize since I got sidetracked trying to solve multiple environmental issues in Vietnam. I worked for an NGO trying to raise awareness on climate change and illegal wildlife trade. Now I am currently managing a startup focusing on clean food production and other environmental solutions. However, a homecoming to the ocean is still on my plate. So if you ever find yourself in Vietnam and want to work on ocean-related projects here, please do contact me!
I graduated from Occidental in 2012 with a degree in biology and a year and a half of VRG experience. Perhaps the most formative time I spent at Oxy occurred while pursuing an independent research project on storm drain runoff at Palos Verdes Peninsula. This project would not have been possible without the extensive support and encouragement of the VRG scientists. In fact, the appreciation I garnered for doing vs. hearing about science while at the VRG is what led me to my current job as a high school biology teacher at Phoenix Country Day School. Drawing from skills and knowledge I acquired both in and out of the field, I established a marine biology course that, among other things, boasts a field trip to Los Angeles where students receive an exclusive tour of the VRG.
Down the line, I hope to attend graduate school to continue to study the interactions between land and sea. In the meantime, I am thrilled that, even in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, I can maintain my enthusiasm for marine ecology while sharing it with high school students.
Bridget has also worked at the Aquarium of the Pacific as a marine mammal husbandry intern, and been a member of the California Wildlife Center marine mammal rescue team since 2007. Bridget is now working as a marine science and policy consultant with Exxon Mobil, helping to restructure their global environmental safety training and procedures for refineries and offshore facilities.
Can head-mounted accelerometers be used to detect successful prey captures in Australian fur seals?
I simultaneously measured 3-dimensional movement on head-mounted accelerometers and recorded video from the animal’s perspective on National Geographic Crittercams. I quantified the prey captures measured on the accelerometers and compared it with the prey captures recorded on the video. By comparing the successful prey captures seen on the video to the prey captures measured on the accelerometer, I can determine the accuracy of using accelerometers to detect successful foraging dives.
Can 3-dimensional movement predict metabolic rate in Steller sea lions diving with a large oxygen debt?
This project done in collaboration with UBC and the Vancouver Aquarium complements the research on free-ranging Australian fur seals by examining the energetic component of foraging efficiency. 3-dimensional movement (ODBA) has been used to predict metabolic rate, but it remains unclear if this relationship holds true when the animals carry a large oxygen debt over several dives in a series.I will determine if the relationship between metabolic rate and 3-dimensional movement changes in Steller sea lions diving with a large oxygen debt over long dive durations and several dives in a series. Using 3-dimensional movement (or overall dynamic body acceleration ODBA) to predict metabolic rate in sea lions is analogous to a person using a pedometer app (that counts your steps) on their smartphone to predict the number of calories burned during exercise.
Matthew Craig graduated from Occidental College in 1998 with a degree in Biology, and followed in 2000 with his Masters degree, also in Biology. From Oxy, Matt went on to pursue his graduate degree at the Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy where he received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology in 2005. Matt then went on to work as a postdoctoral research at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology where his studies led him on more than a dozen international collecting expeditions throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In 2009, Matt received a faculty appointment at the University of Puerto Rico.