MEET THE TEAM

Brenda Jensen, PhD
Dean, College of Natural and Computational Sciences
Professor of Biology
bjensen@hpu.edu

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

My primary research interest is to investigate how anthropogenic (human caused) stressors impact Hawaii’s marine vertebrates, particularly in sentinel species such as whales and dolphins.  There is a widespread misconception that Hawai’i is so geographically remote that issues like marine pollution should not have a large impact on marine organisms in this area.  Unfortunately, global distribution of chemicals resistant to environmental degradation means that no marine environment is “pristine”.

One of my key research partners is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  Since 2010, NIST has partnered with HPU to bank environmental specimens from Hawai’i for current and long term study, as well as to measure contaminants and their effects in several marine species, including marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, fish, and corals.  This work has significant short and long term benefits as scientists race to document the ecological impacts of rapid environmental change.  Contaminants of interest include legacy and emerging organic pollutants, trace elements (including mercury) and plastic marine debris.

 

Full Biography
FACULTY

Jennifer Lynch, PhD 
Co-Director
NIST Research Biologist
jennifer.lynch@nist.gov

 

Dr. Jennifer M. (Keller) Lynch’s research interests are to improve the quality of measurements in the field of marine environmental toxicology and chemistry.  She has performed organic analytical chemistry research for the National Institute of Standards and Technology since 2003.  In 2019 she became the Co-Director of the Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR). The CMDR was established in 2019 in Hawaii, which is one of Earth’s most plastic polluted regions. Dr. Lynch’s current research focuses heavily on quantifying and chemically characterizing plastic marine debris to optimize methods to help answer questions about plastic debris sources, fate, transport, and effects.  She also leads the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle tissues (BEMAST) project, as part of the NIST Biorepository. The BEMAST collection currently holds over 3,000 sea turtle tissue samples from across the Pacific Ocean for health and contaminant research, including ingested plastic debris, archived in liquid nitrogen vapor temperatures.  She has published extensively on the measurement and effects of persistent organic pollutants, including legacy organochlorines, flame retardants, and perfluoroalkyl acids, in reference materials, sea turtles and other organisms. She has authored 53 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters, served on the thesis committees of 21 graduate students, and holds affiliate positions at Hawaii Pacific University and University of Hawaii.  Dr. Lynch is motivated to study pollution exposure and effects in the ocean and educate others through technology transfer to perform quality science that can inform policy and improve environmental measurement.

  

Full Biography


K. David Hyrenbach, PhD 
Co-Director
Professor of Oceanography
khyrenbach@hpu.edu

 

PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS:

Marine conservation, ecology and natural history of marine mega-vertebrates, seabirds as bio-indicators.

TEACHING INTERESTS/RESEARCH:

My main research interests are the oceanic habitats of far-ranging pelagic vertebrates (seabirds, turtles, cetaceans, tunas), and the physical mechanisms (upwelling, convergence) that define predictable areas of enhanced biological activity in pelagic systems. My objective is to incorporate an understanding of natural history and oceanography into the design of management and conservation strategies (i.e., gear modifications, area closures, Marine Protected Areas) to protect highly mobile pelagic species and their dynamic habitats.

PERSONAL INTERESTS:

Stand-up paddling, swimming, tennis, gardening, native plants, cappuccinos.

 

 

Full Biography


F. David Horgen, PhD
Professor Chemistry
Head, Shared Instrumentation Facility
dhorgen@hpu.edu

 

 Dr. Horgen’s major research interest is marine natural products chemistry. This field focuses on molecules that are produced by plants, animals and microbes in the marine environment and the manner in which these substances affect other organisms. For example, these compounds (known as marine natural products) are produced by organisms to protect them from being eaten, to kill or immobilize their prey, to defend their territories, or to communicate. At the same time, marine natural products have high structural diversity and possess chemical properties that allow them to act as drugs in the human body, which makes them a valuable resource for finding new therapies for a wide range of diseases, especially cancer. The focus in Dr. Horgen’s lab is the discovery of marine natural products that can interact with proteins involved in human diseases and switch these proteins on and off as needed to prevent or stop the progress of disease.

 

Full Biography


Keith E. Korsmeyer, PhD
Professor of Biology
Program Director, Masters of Science in Marine Science
kkorsmeyer@hpu.edu

 

My research interests are in the comparative and ecological physiology of fishes and other marine animals. In particular, I’m interested in metabolic, energetic, and cardio-respiratory specializations, and the influence of environment on physiological function. This includes cardiac function and oxygen transport to tissues, metabolic compensations to changes in habitat, such as temperature, salinity, or hypoxia, and bioenergetics of swimming. My aim is to use an integrative approach to determine the types of adaptations and environmental factors that are important in an evolutionary context.

 

 

Full Biography

STAFF


Katherine Shaw, PhD
NRC Post Doctoral Fellow
  katherine.shaw@nist.gov

 

Dr. 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.

 

Full Biography

  Kayla C. Brignac, B.S
   Research and Laboratory Manager
   Education and Outreach Coordinator
       kbrignac@hawaii.edu

 

Kayla is from Oceanside, CA and earned her bachelor of science in Global Environmental Science and minor in Chemistry from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2018. Kayla’s drive towards finding solutions to the plastic pollution crisis began when she worked for Environment California, a nonprofit political organization that lobbies for environmental legislation. She then moved to Hawaiʻi in 2016 to further her education and began working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch as a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF). Kayla was awarded this fellowship for the summers of 2017 and 2018, where she worked with HPU M.S. student Melissa Jung to calculate hook depths of sea turtles caught on Pacific longline fisheries and dive heavily into the polymer composition of plastic marine debris using infrared spectroscopy. Kayla’s undergraduate thesis work and publication titled, “Marine Debris Polymers on Main Hawaiian Island Beaches, Sea Surface, and Seafloor”, was the first to provide a polymer composition profile for marine debris in the state of Hawaiʻi.

Kayla is now the Research and Laboratory Manager, and Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR). She also oversees the Hawaiʻi operations of the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository program. She aids NIST researchers, guest scientists, and students with specimen bank and marine debris projects. She created CMDR’s outreach program and collaborates with local organizations to provide science-based educational materials. Her main research interest focuses on the chemical weathering and polymer degradation of plastics, and how this material affects environmental health.

 


Raquel Corniuk, M.S.
Research and Laboratory Technician
Social Media Manager
   rcorniuk1@my.hpu.edu

 

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.

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.

 

CURRENT MEMBERs


Ray Aivazian III.
Seed.World Founder
Chairman Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter
Lynch Group
   Ray@seed.world

 

Ray is from Chino, (Southern) California. He served 8 years active duty as a Combat Engineer in the United States Marine Corps (2009-2017). He has been attending school at Windward Community College since he retired and is working towards attaining a degree in Global Environmental Science at University of Hawaii at Manoa. His research and focus is on synthetic marine debris and how to efficiently and effectively remove it from our shores. He has engineered a device that separates shoreline marine debris from beach sand through buoyancy. He then further discovered and created a process to separate the natural and synthetic buoyant debris that is captured by his device. Through this process a smaller size assessment can be done to analyze marine debris accumulation for microplastic samples smaller than 63 microns. pository Program.

He is Vice Chairman for the Surfrider Oahu Foundation and is passionate about giving back to the community and helping educate others. He hopes to educate people on the harm plastic is causing to our environment and ecosystem by providing them with a means to remove and separate the debris along with a deeper understanding on the harms we are causing by giving them something tangible to relate to.  


Kellie Teague
Graduate Student
Lynch Group 
   kteague@my.hpu.edu

 

Kellie works in the Lynch Lab at the Center for Marine Debris Research as a Graduate Assistant, where her primary focus is categorizing and identifying the polymer type of beach plastic using Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). She is currently finishing up her Master of Marine Science degree at Hawaii Pacific University. Kellie’s background is in chemistry and her current research interests include the marine carbon cycle, ocean acidification, and global climate change. Right now, she is working on a project to characterize the two source waters used by the Waikiki Aquarium and understand the natural variability in carbon parameters over time. Outside of academia, Kellie likes spending time outdoors, eating good food, and bingewatching The Great British Bake-off. Her favorite sea creature is the Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta) because it looks like an adorable alien


Jenna Karr
Graduate Student
Lynch Group 
   jkarr1@my.hpu.edu

 

Jenna is from St.Charles, IL ( just outside the city of Chicago) and is currently working on her Masters in Marine Science at Hawaii Pacific University under the advisement of Dr. Keith Korsmeyer. She earned Bachelors degrees in both Marine Biology and Environmental Studies from Florida Southern College in 2017. Jenna now works as a graduate assistant at the Center for Marine Debris Research, and assists with various projects related to marine plastic. Her focus in the lab is on ingestion of plastics my larval fish and methods associated with plastic extraction from animal tissue.


Ilana Nimz
Graduate Student
Winged Ambassadors Education Coordinator
Hyrenbach Group 
   nimz@oikonos.org

 

Nimz is from Waimanalo, Hawaiʻi, and completed her undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology and Marine Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Before starting an MSMS at HPU, she spent six seasons working with Hawaiian monk seals, seabirds and habitat restoration projects in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and completed additional seabird seasons in the Aleutians, Farallones and mountains of Kauaʻi. Nimz’s MSMS thesis is on the diving behavior and diet of the Chocolate shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) on Kure Atoll. In her limited free time, she enjoys painting wildlife, swimming, climbing trees, and adventuring on her boat, the Narwhal.

Nimz currently manages Winged Ambassadors Albatross Bolus Collaboration, an educational program with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge. In partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi and Kure Atoll Conservancy, this unique program provides albatross boluses to educators, supplementing a free online curriculum that uses charismatic seabirds to teach students about ocean currents and marine debris. With the bolus dissection activity, students experience a hands-on understanding of how marine debris impacts wildlife.


Jennifer Urmston
Graduate Student
Hyrenbach Group 
   jurmston1@my.hpu.edu

 

Jenn Urmston is from the Hudson Valley Region of New York and received a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Biology from Monmouth University in New Jersey. She is a masters student in the Marine Science program at Hawaii Pacific University where she studies the anthropogenic impacts of plastic and light pollution on seabirds. She assists with seabird necropsies in the lab and data analysis outside the lab. Currently, she is analyzing data from sea surveys across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to determine overlap of large marine debris and seabird habitat. In her free, time she enjoys hiking, yoga, and baking cookies.

 


Lauren Fraser Chamberlain
Graduate Student
Hyrenbach Group
  laurenchamberlain@gmail.com

 

Lauren Chamberlain is from Charleston, SC and recently graduated with a Master’s of Science in Marine Science from Hawai`i Pacific University. Her master’s thesis focused on quantifying plastic ingestion in Bonin Petrels from Midway Atoll and characterizing ingested plastics by size, color and polymer composition using FT-IR methods. She is currently a full-time SCUBA instructor and volunteer in the CMDR lab. Future steps for her research are to continue studying polymer composition of ingested plastics with new methodology.


Drew McWhirter
Graduate Student
Lynch Group
  drew.mcwhirter@gmail.com

 

Drew McWhirter is a Master of Science in Marine Science student focused on identifying the sources of the derelict fishing gear (FADs and Ghost Nets) that is washing ashore in Hawaii and damaging coral reefs, endangering wildlife, degrading our natural resources, and impacting our local economy.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and Marine Biology from University of Washington, he traveled abroad for 13 months through Fiji, Australia and Indonesia, where he was inevitably exposed to plastic pollution on a global scale. Having grown up in Hawaii and constantly immersed in the ocean, marine plastic pollution mitigation has become his passion.

In 2018 Drew moved back to Honolulu to work as a Marine Debris Technician for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. This effort involved comprehensive technical training necessary to complete a 42-day field mission to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, where their team removed 74 metric tons of derelict fishing gear and plastic debris from the islands and atolls of this wildlife sanctuary.

In 2019 Drew served as the chief scientist on the Vortex Swim Expedition. He led the scientific effort for the 80-day sailing endeavor through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, documenting plastic pollution in the highest plastic-concentrated waters of the world’s oceans. He also manages social media for Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project, and participates in community outreach, education and waste diversion programs with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.


Natasha D. Sawickij
Graduate Student
Lynch Group
  nsawicki@my.hpu.edu

 

Natasha Sawickij is from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. She is a current MSMS student at HPU and started working at Center for Marine Debris Research in August 2019. Her thesis project, funded by Hawaii’s DOH, is on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances in Goatfish around Oahu. She also assists on the Maui Polystyrene Ban project, where she aids in FTIR analysis of the composition of plastics.


Kristine Joy Sellona
Graduate Student
Lynch Group
  ksellona@my.hpu.edu

 

Kristine Joy Sellona is from San Diego, California and graduated from California Baptist University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in April 2019. She is currently attending Hawaii Pacific University for a M.A. in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development and plans to graduate by May 2021. Kristine is currently a volunteer at CMDR and aids Dr. Jennifer Lynch and Kayla Brignac with various projects, such as the extraction of microplastics, creation of the Forensic Fibers Library for the FTIR, and the Maui Polystyrene Ban project. For her masters work, Kristine will be validating the Brignac Weathering Rank, a chemical indicator of polymer degradation, by performing detailed spectral analyses on CMDR’s FTIR spectra database.


Granya Boyd
Undergraduate Student
Lynch Group
  gboyd1@my.hpu.edu

 

Granya Boyd is from Sandpoint, Idaho and is currently a sophomore at Hawaii Pacific University. She is pursuing a BS in Marine Biology along with a minor in International Relations, and is planning to graduate in the spring of 2022. Granya has been working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch since the summer of 2019 as a volunteer and now continues to work through HPU as an undergraduate student researcher at the Center for Marine Debris Research. Granya assists on the Maui Polystyrene Ban project, where she is a spectrophotometer analyst utilizing FTIR to assess and analyze the composition of plastic debris. Granya also helps one of the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository Programs, BEMAST, through sea turtle necropsies and GI tract dissections to investigate plastic ingestion.


Jasmin Diaz
Undergraduate Student
Lynch Group
  jdiaz17@my.hpu.edu

 

Jasmin Diaz is from Encinitas, California and is currently a junior at Hawaii Pacific University. She is pursuing a BS in Marine Biology and is planning to graduate in the spring of 2021. She is interested in the environmental impacts of marine debris and the conservation of ocean wildlife. Jasmin has been working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch since the fall of 2019 as a volunteer and now continues to work through HPU as an undergraduate student researcher at the Center for Marine Debris Research. Jasmin assists on the Accumulation and Separation of Shoreline Marine Debris Through Buoyancy project, where she separates marine debris ranging in size from >5 mm to 500 µm and identifies polymers utilizing the FTIR. Jasmin assists Dr. Katy Shaw one of the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository Programs, BEMAST, through sea turtle GI tract dissections to investigate plastic ingestion and scute homogenization for inorganic analyses.


Kate Dolbier
Undergraduate Student
Lynch Group
  kdolbier1@my.hpu.edu

 

Kate Dolbier is originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is a sophomore at Hawaii Pacific University, pursuing a degree in Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Science. Kate began volunteering at the Center for Marine Debris Research in spring of 2019, and is now an undergraduate student researcher at CMDR. Kate assists on the Maui Polystyrene Ban, where she categorizes and weighs plastics debris based on CMDR protocols. She also is a part of the education and outreach team, where she works closely with CMDR’s social media manager to create social media graphics and content with a focus on science-based education.


Raleigh Johnson (Aiden )
Undergraduate Student
Hyrenbach Group
  rjohnson1@my.hpu.edu

 

R. Aiden Johnson is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a sophomore at Hawaii Pacific University. He is working towards a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology and has considered adding a minor in Music. He is planning to graduate in Spring 2022. Aiden has been working with Dr. David Hyrenbach as a work-study student doing necropsies on a variety of native seabirds. Mainly focusing on Wedge-Tailed Shearwater birds, he examines and documents external/internal injuries, along with collecting tissue samples, feathers, and stomach content to be sent to the University of Hawaii for analysis. The goal of this project is to collect data on the plastic ingested by the birds. 


Hanna Mantanona
Undergraduate Student
Hyrenbach Group
  hmantanona@my.hpu.edu

 

Hanna is a Junior pursuing a BS degree in Marine Biology.  She is originally from Kennewick, Washington and is planning to graduate in the Spring of 2021. At CMDR she is working under David Hyrenbach through Hawaii Pacific University on seabird ecology, performing necropsies to record seabird deaths and obtaining isotope samples to determine how food webs are changing. Additionally, Hanna is helping a fellow undergrad researcher quantify Albatross plastic ingestion. Samples are analyzed with the use of FTIR and ImageJ software coupled with their respective weights and dimensions.


Kerrianne O'Malley
Undergraduate Student
Lynch Group
  komalle2@my.hpu.edu

 

Kerrianne grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin where the temperature can be below zero for months at a time, but that doesn't stop true Packers fans from tailgating in the winter anyway! Kerrianne is not a huge fan of the freezing cold or being so far from any ocean. So she moved to Oahu in 2016 to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at Hawaii Pacific University. Kerrianne will be graduating in May 2020 with the first cohort of HPU's Residential Honors Program. Kerrianne’s interdisciplinary capstone research project is focused on local environmental policy measures and specifically a County-wide ban on polystyrene "Styrofoam" food-service take-out products in order to protect Maui's unique environment and the health and welfare of its marine and avian life.  She started working with the Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR) in 2019 with Dr. Jennifer Lynch and will be spending the summer of 2020 working as a NIST SURF fellow. She is very grateful to be able to continue research at CMDR and feels lucky to be part of such an amazing team of intelligent and hard-working people.

Kerrianne has volunteered at many beach clean-ups since arriving on Oahu in 2016, and she is passionate about learning how plastic marine debris is affecting the planet's oceans, nature and civilizations.  She has most recently begun getting involved at the State Legislature, learning more about how the policymaking process works and how scientists can best inform the public's opinion, policy makers, and state representatives. She is looking forward to sharing her passion in the community, in the local political scene, and in her scientific research. U`a mau ke ia o ka aina i ka pono.


Angelianne Sophia Recinto
Undergraduate Student
Lynch Group
  arecinto@my.hpu.edu

 

Angelianne Sophia Recinto is originally from Southern California who grew a passion for marine life ever since she volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific. She is currently a freshman at Hawaii Pacific University, pursuing a BS in Marine Biology and a BA in Environmental Studies. She plans to graduate in the Spring of 2023 and hopes to pursue a career where she can work with marine life and help find sustainable solutions that can positively impact the environment and protect nature from harm. Angelianne has been working for Kayla Brignac and Katherine Shaw since the Fall of 2019 as a Research and Laboratory Assistant. At the Center for Marine Debris Research, Angelianne assists in projects such as the U.S. NIST Pacific Islands Biorepository Programs, BEMAST, where she performs scute homogenizations on Pacific sea Turtles. This involves working in a hepa hood where she grinds samples of sea turtle scutes into fine powder and transfers the scutes into individual cryovials for the NIST Specimen Bank. In her spare time, she loves to volunteer at preservations by removing invasive species and clearing debris, bake yummy desserts for her loved ones, and hang out with friends by hiking or snorkeling.

 

PAST MEMBERS


Melissa R. Jung, M.S.
Research and Laboratory Manager
Lynch Group
  mrjung@my.hpu.edu

 

Melissa is from Troy, Illinois and finished her Masters in Marine Science from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in 2017. After moving to Hawaii in 2015, Melissa worked with Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles at Hawaii Marine Animal Response while completing her degree. Melissa’s thesis at HPU focused on validating the use of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) for polymer identification of degraded, ingested plastics in pelagic sea turtles. Melissa is currently working on polymer identification of accumulated beach plastics and quantification/characterization of both plastics ingested by endangered Hawksbill sea turtles and surface plastics from the North Pacific Gyre. Melissa also helps manage the NIST Marine Environmental Specimen Bank by collecting and processing samples from various specimen including marine mammals, sea birds, and sea turtles. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys hiking, free diving, and shelling.

Future research interests for Melissa include exploring the transport of different polymers once they enter the marine environment by considering physical properties of the plastic and oceanographic processes. She is also interested in understanding how chemical weathering of different polymers affects the surrounding environment and organisms.

Websites: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-jung-9021ab11a

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Melissa_Jung Google

Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=94b5DVEAAAAJ&hl=en


Sheena Weller
Graduate Student
Lynch Group 

 

Sheena is from Munich, Germany and came to Hawaii to get her MSMS degree at HPU. Currently, she is working in the Lynch/CMDR lab on polymer identification of marine debris through Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). As a practicum intern her project is looking at the effects of Maui’s expanded polystyrene ban (Dec 2018) on the composition of plastic debris collected from different beaches around Maui. What got her so interested in working at the CMDR was after a backpacking trip to Indonesia and seeing the heartbreaking, horrible masses of plastic everywhere.

While her research interests are diverse she wishes to eventually pursue the direction of tropical marine ecology studying different organisms and their interactions with the surrounding environment. One of her favorite working experiences was in Seychelles conducting daily quad surveys on the coral reefs there. With over 500 dives she has traveled a great deal through South East Asia chasing top dive destinations on her bucket list. All it takes to make her happy -> a dive and an underwater camera (and a healthy reef!)


 
Angelica Moua
Graduate Student
Hyrenbach Group 
   amoua@my.hpu.edu

 

Angelica is from Sacramento, California and earned her Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology at University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016. Currently she is a Graduate Assistant for Dr. Jennifer Lynch and Dr. David Hyrenbach at the Center of Marine Debris Research. Angelica assists in categorizing and identifying plastic polymers using FTIR, homogenizing sea turtle scutes for the NIST specimen bank, and prepping diet, muscle, liver, and feather samples of various seabird species for stable isotope analysis. Furthermore, she has completed a practicum with Dr. David Hyrenbach in assessing seabird diet of Laysan and Black-footed Albatross chicks of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Her current interests are in seabirds and sea turtles, but also she has gained close interest in sustainability and social equity. In her spare time, Angelica enjoys to read, sketch, hike, and eat delicious desserts.


 
Joelle Marchiani
NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow
Lynch Group 


Hailing from Austin, Texas, Joelle completed her undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at Hawai’i Pacific University in 2019. This summer, Joelle has started working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch as a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF). Her project is titled “Chemical weathering and additives in plastic marine debris in the Hawaiian islands” She became interested in working with CMDR after starting school in Hawaii and seeing all the plastic debris on beaches, and while everyone else ignored it, she couldn’t distract herself from it.

She wishes to eventually work as a Laboratory Technician or Research Assistant. Her research interests are broad- she has yet to find a subject within the marine sciences she dislikes- but is particularly fond of marine debris, seabirds, and elasmobranchs. In the Fall she will start her MS of Marine Biology at Northeastern University.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, all water-related activities, and napping.


 
Rachel Sandquist
NOAA Hollings Scholar
Lynch Group 

 

Rachel Sandquist is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and fell in love with the ocean by spending her summers at the Jersey Shore surfing, diving, and playing in the ocean. She is currently in the process of earning her BS in Marine Science and Microbiology/Immunology from the University of Miami. This summer, Rachel is working with Dr. Jennifer Lynch for her NOAA Hollings Internship. For her project, Rachel is to test and improve laboratory methods to extract, quantify and characterize microplastics from complex environmental samples. Her broad research interests include marine debris, marine immunology, marine toxicology.

 

center for marine Debris research

c/o Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University
41-202 Kalaniana'ole Hwy Ste #9
Waimanalo, HI 96795
cmdr@hpu.edu
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