Meg Van Horn Graduate Student I grew up in Durham, North Carolina and have always had a passion for wildlife and the environment. I attended the University Iof North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received my degree in Environmental Science with minors in Marine Science and GIS. While attending UNC, I volunteered as a research assistant in a coral ecophysiology lab and helped on a coral environmental transplantation project and an independent project researching the historical changes of islands on the Belize Barrier Reef System. This ignited my passion for research and my desire to understand and help protect these vital coral reef ecosystems. After only primarily working with coral underneath a microscope, I received my SCUBA certification my senior year knowing I wanted to work with coral in the field in addition to a laboratory setting. After graduating, I lived in the Florida Keys for a year interning with the Coral Restoration Foundation. At CRF, I got a lot of experience being a scientific diver and helping to restore Florida's Coral Reef. I started my Master's degree at UNC-Wilmington in January of 2023 and my thesis project is studying the effects of blue light on coral recruits.
Bryce Corbett Graduate Student I grew up in Chicago, IL where saltwater could only be found in aquariums. At 16, I was accepted into Shedd Aquariums High School Marine Biology program, which required snorkeling trips in Bimini, Bahamas. After snorkeling for one day I realized that marine biology was my passion, and I had to do anything and everything to reach my goal. As an undergraduate, I studied Zoology with a specialization in Animal Biology and double minor in Computer Science and Chemistry. After graduating, I worked as a Science Manager with the E/V Nautilus and as a fisheries observer in Alaska before realizing how much I missed learning about marine communities. These experiences have further prepared me to study my passion for coral reefs. I will begin my Master's degree in the fall of 2019, and I plan to study how coral larvae stages respond to hypoxic environments.
Ashley Weeks Graduate Student
Former Graduate Students
Reanna Jeanes, M.S. Graduated: 2022, Contact: email@example.com Hailing from the Upstate of South Carolina, I have always been fascinated with the ocean and the creatures that live beneath the waves. After graduating from Easley High School, I attended Clemson University for Biological sciences and had the privilege of getting involved in undergraduate research with Dr. Michael Childress, becoming SCUBA certified in the process. As our lab studied the impacts of bleaching and natural disturbance events on coral transplants in the Florida Keys, I fell in love with coral reefs and the organisms that depend on it. I took a year off to work in education after graduating with my Bachelor’s, but continued to feel a personal responsibility to protect and restore this ecosystem I came to treasure. I will begin my Master’s degree at University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Fall 2020 and will focus my thesis on the mitigating effects of sea level rise on corals as a result of anthropogenic climate change.
Sharla Sugierski, M.S. Graduated: Spring 2021, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org I grew up in a small town in Michigan and moved to North Carolina when I was 12. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and majored in Biology with a minor in Marine Sciences. During my sophomore year, I studied abroad in Australia and decided to get SCUBA certified on the Great Barrier Reef. It only took one dive for me to decide I wanted to spend my life studying marine science and protecting coral reefs. I studied abroad again in the Galapagos Islands and fell further in love with the ocean. I also worked as a technician in Dr. Adrian Marchetti’s phytoplankton laboratory. After graduating, I completed an internship with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida studying the wild manatee population. I will begin my Master’s in the fall of 2019, and my thesis project will focus on corals and climate change.
Kory Enneking, M.S. Graduated: 2020, Contact: email@example.com I grew up in Bluffton Ohio, a small farm town. During high school, I took a marine science class that ignited my passion for marine biology. I attended University of North Carolina Wilmington where I graduated with a double major in marine biology and environmental science. I studied the Effects of Diet on Growth, Survival, and Condition of Larval and Juvenile Bay Scallops, Argopecten irradians, for my undergraduate honors thesis. My current research examines acroporid Caribbean demographic data collected in Belize. In my free time I enjoy working on my coral reef aquarium and doing anything that pertains to the ocean.
Hannah Nylander-Asplin, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2018, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Since a young age, understanding the ocean has always been a passion of mine. Although being from Minnesota makes it difficult to study marine organisms, I have always been motivated to become a marine biologist. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Minnesota, I moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. While in New England, I researched large cetaceans including humpback, fin, and minke whales. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with bottlenose dolphin acoustics and loggerhead sea turtle nesting in South Carolina. At Nova Southeastern University, my research concentrates on the population dynamics of the hybrid coral Acropora prolifera, and the parent species A. cervicornis and A. palmata in the Virgin Islands, US.
Kelly Pitts, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2018, Contact: email@example.com I grew up in Maryland and studied Biology at St. Mary's Honors College of Maryland located on the Chesapeake Bay. An undergraduate thesis on the effects of ocean acidification on a species of soft coral sparked my love for coral research. I am currently studying the effects of thermal stress and ocean acidification on the early life history stages of Orbicella faveolata at NSU. In my free time, I love to rock climb and play ultimate frisbee. After graduation, I worked at NSU as Coral Disease Research Associate in Dr. Brian Walker's Laboratory, but currently work at the Smithsonian Institution.
Megan Bock, M.S. Graduated: Spring 2018, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where I fell in love with marine science while spending my summers on Delaware beaches and around the Chesapeake Bay. I completed my undergraduate education as a dual-degree student, receiving two B.S. degrees, one in Biology from Salisbury University and the other in Marine/Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Currently, I am studying disease transmission and thermal tolerance in the staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis at NSU. In my free time I enjoy playing guitar and ultimate frisbee. Dr. Fogarty hired me as a research technician after I graduated. In 2019, I began working for the Department of Transportation as an Environmental Specialist.
Morgan Hightshoe, M.S. Graduated: Spring 2018, Contact: email@example.com My name is Morgan Hightshoe and I’m a master’s student studying disease resistance and thermal tolerance in the endangered staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. I received my bachelor degree from NC State University where I studied zoology. After graduating I took some time off and spent a couple years bouncing around the Caribbean working on a variety of marine conservation projects. It was during this time that I really developed my interest in coral conservation research and made the decision to attend NSU. When I’m not in the lab you can usually find me surfing, skating, and cycling. After graduation, I continued to be employed as the project manager of a coral nursery in the Bahamas with our partner Norwegian Cruse Lines.
Anna Jordan, M.S. Graduated: Spring 2018, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org I am a master’s student majoring in marine biology at Nova Southeastern University. I am from Wisconsin and attended Loyola University of Chicago where I got my bachelor’s degree in biology. While getting my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Belize in which I gained a passion for coral. My thesis is a meta-analysis focusing on various aspects of the reproduction of scleractinian corals found in the Caribbean. During my down time, I enjoying playing with my dog and watching sports. I am currently working as a STEM coordinator in Milwaukee.
Alicia Vollmer, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2017, Contact: email@example.com Growing up in Florida, I became exposed to the marine environment at a very early age. I attend Florida State University for my bachelor’s degree in Biology with a certificate in Living Marine Resources. While at FSU I conducted independent research on the spawning sex ratios of snook in Charlotte Harbor, FL. I am currently a master’s student double majoring in marine biology and coastal zone management at NSU. My thesis research involves investigating paternity in Porites astreiodes with differing colony densities and sizes.When I’m not in the lab I enjoy fishing, playing beach volleyball and snowboarding. Since graduation, I have worked as and environmental consultant at Pinnacle Ecological, but currently work for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Leah Harper, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2017, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org I grew up in Pennsylvania where I attended the University of Pittsburgh. While at Pitt, I was a part of the swim team and had the opportunity to study abroad in Bonaire. Traveling abroad to Bonaire solidified my passion to study coral reefs. After graduating from Pitt I decided to attend graduate school at Nova Southeastern University. My thesis project was a three year study of recruitment success along the Florida Reef Tract in Broward and Miami –Dade counties. This project was part of a larger study on the entire Florida Reef Tract extending from Broward County into the lower Keys. Since graduating with an M.S. in marine environmental science, I continued to work as the project manager for the coral recruitment and juvenile survivorship project of Southeast Florida until the fall of 2018. I currently work for Dr. Emmett Duffy at the Smithsonian Institution.
Josh Stocker, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2016, Contact: email@example.com I received M.S. degrees in Marine Environmental Science and Coastal Zone Management at NSU. Despite having a natural affinity towards the marine environment throughout my childhood, I did not consider this as a career path until after obtaining B.S. degrees in Biology and Environmental Science at King’s College in Northeastern PA. My thesis research at NSU examined the potential impacts of birth control, hormone replacement therapies, and other sex steroids (which enter marine environments through sewage treatment plant outfalls and septic tanks) on invertebrate growth and reproduction. After graduating in 2016, I worked at a consulting firm in Ft. Lauderdale as an environmental scientist until the end of 2018. I now live in South Carolina and work as an Envrionmental Health Manager at the Anderson County Department of Health and the Enviroment.
Justin Voss, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2016, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org I received a M.S. degree double majoring in marine biology and coastal zone management at NSU. I grew up in Cincinnati, OH and received my Bachelor’s degree in biology from Ohio State University. Before graduating, I studied marine resource management at the School for Field Studies in South Caicos, British West Indies. There, I discovered a passion for coral research. Many Caribbean reefs have experienced a regime shift from a coral to a macroalgae dominated state, and through my research I identified the effect of a common macroalgae Laurencia spp. on Porites astreoides coral larval behavior, recruitment, and post-settlement success. Since graduating in 2016, I have been working for FWC's conch research team in the Florida Keys.
Hunter Noren, M.S. Graduated: Summer 2016, Contact: email@example.com Growing up I lived in the US, Sweden and Germany. I got hooked on diving when I was 12 in Sweden and since then I have been diving all around the globe. Prior to attending Nova, I received my bachelors in Marine Biology from Rollins College in Orlando. As an undergrad I researched possible animal vectors that could harbor the Serratia marcescens pathogen responsible for the transmission of white pox disease that affects the threatened Acropora palmata (Elkhorn Coral). My thesis explored mesophotic reefs on the barrier reef of Belize. Since graduating in 2016, I have worked at Nova Southeastern University as a lab technician in their stem cell research laboratory and currently in Dr. Brian Walker's laboratory.
Margaret Rushmore, M.S. Graduated: Spring 2016, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Before beginning my Master’s degree at NSU, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. While there I worked on an independent research project on the reproductive habits and success of various songbird species. My project at NSU focused on the effect of sedimentation on various life stages in the brooding coral Porites astreoides and the adult colony stage of the spawning coral Montastraea cavernosa. Since graduating in 2016, I have been working at the Department of Transportation as an environmental specialist.
Kellie Pelikan, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2015, Contact: email@example.com I am a former grad student at NSU. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) with a concentration in Marine Biology. As an undergrad, I studied general morphology, reproductive success, and bioluminescence of Isistius brasiliensis. As a grad student, I studied the effects of petroleum pollutants associated with bilge water on the reproduction and development of two sea urchin species, Eucidaris tribuloides and Lytechinus variegatus. Kellie is working for the Department of Defense.
Ashley Dungan, M.S. Graduated: Fall 2015, Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Originally from Western NY, I completed my B.S. degree in Biology at SUNY Brockport. During a study abroad experience to the Bahamas, I changed my academic focus to from pre-med to marine science. At NSU, I studied the impact of ocean acidification on the calcification of Caribbean adult and juvenile corals. Since graduating in 2015, I have been working for Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys as a Staff Chemist in the Ocean Acidification program; here I have continued my work with corals and began working with Diadema antillarum, the long-spined urchin. I am starting a Ph.D. program under Dr. Madeleine van Oppen at the University of Melbourne in Australia spring 2017 studying the assisted evolution of the coral holobiont, focusing on the coral microbiome.
University of North Carolina @ Wilmington | Center for Marine Science 5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln | Wilmington, NC 28409 United States Nicole Fogarty | (910) 962-2301 | email@example.com