Research and Laboratory Technician
Social Media Manager
Raquel is from Huntington Beach, California and earned her master’s degree in Marine Science at Hawai’i Pacific University in May 2020. She began working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch in 2018 as a Graduate Assistant where she assisted with categorizing and identifying plastic polymers using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and was in charge of sea turtle scute homogenizations for the specimen bank of the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository Program, BEMAST.r. Shaw’s research interests are to improve the health and conservation of the oceans using chemical and toxicological measurements. Her research background includes marine biology, marine policy, and toxicology and has ranged from the effects of inundation on embryonic development in Loggerhead sea turtles to the accumulation and effects of metals on sea birds and sea turtles of the Hawaiian Islands. Her current research focuses on chemical additives in plastics. As a NRC postdoctoral fellow with NIST she will develop much needed analytical methods to quantify chemical additives commonly found in marine debris. In addition, she will develop laboratory-based leaching studies to determine rates at which targeted chemicals desorb from plastic in seawater and during animal digestion.
In 2019, she began a practicum project under Dr. Jennifer Lynch studying loggerhead sea turtle vitellogenin to use as a biomarker for estrogenic contaminant exposure and to understand reproductive maturation. She also became a NIST Laboratory Assistant under Dr. David Hyrenbach. In this position, she researched plastic ingestion in Pink-footed Shearwaters using FTIR and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) instrumentation.
Since 2019, Raquel has been CMDR’s social media manager and is tasked with educating the public about marine debris and the center’s mission. After graduating, Raquel became CMDR’s research and laboratory technician where she assists in all aspects of the Center and the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository Program.