2020 B.S. Northeastern University
Before joining the Helmuth lab, I was involved in research exploring the combined impacts of ocean warming and acidification on the relationship between a marine fungal pathogen found across the reefs of the Indo-Pacific–coralline fungal disease–and its host, crustose coralline algae, a foundation species in many coastal marine ecosystems. I also led a research effort at the Environmental Defense Fund in Mexico that combined social science interview and survey methodologies with biophysical and ecological data to explore perceptions that small-scale Mexican fishers hold about climate change. This kind of research can help ground large-scale oceanographic and ecological trends in the context of specific places, and can even elucidate new trends that have not yet been documented.
During my time in the Helmuth lab, I hope to continue pairing methods in the social sciences with ecological forecasting to help predict how climate change will alter the face of coastal marine ecosystems.
Outside of the lab my interests include labor organizing, making music with friends, skateboarding, and exploring the outdoors.
2012 M.S. Northeastern University
David Sittenfeld is a doctoral candidate focusing on participatory methods for environmental health assessment and public engagement. He is also a manager of the Forum program at the Museum of Science, which engages citizens, policymakers, and scientists in deliberative conversations around emerging scientific and technological issues. David has been an educator at the museum for over 15 years and oversees the creations of special programs and exhibits relating to issues that lie at the intersection of science and society.
In addition to overseeing the Museum’s Forum program, David regularly gives talks on topics in current science and technology at the Museum, delivers demonstrations in the exhibit halls, and manages special programs and exhibit projects. He is a member of the executive committee for Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ecastnetwork.org), has served on the program committee for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network for five years, and received the NESACS Salute to Excellence Award in 2011.
2017 B.S. Iowa State University
My research interests are largely driven by my fascination with the marine environment. My broad educational background and diverse composition of past research experiences reflect my desire to learn about many different aspects of oceanic systems. As a marine ecologist, I hope to apply this open frame of mind to a focused project through integrative approaches to my research questions, as complex ecosystems require consideration of the whole to best understand the relevance and interactions of its parts.
Although I have a passion for a broad range of marine-related research topics, commonality exists in their societal impact potential. My motivation to become a scientist is not only to acquire knowledge, but to share that knowledge with the public and use it to shape conservational policy. Global change, specifically how it will affect environmental conditions and marine ecosystem dynamics, serves as a great study platform to merge my scientific aims. My undergraduate research utilized proxy-based hindcasting to recreate past oceanic climate conditions in order to make predictions about future environmental change. While at Northeastern, I hope to continue to address similar issues through use of new ecological forecasting methods in an attempt to better predict future challenges facing rocky intertidal ecosystems.
2007 B.S. University of Montana
2021 M.S. Massachusetts Maritime Academy
I am a public policy doctoral student focusing on ocean policies, the intersection between where we are and where our scientific research is, and how to bridge that gap. The science and research create technical solutions but often fail to address society and policy problems that underly the large issues we face. Issues such as climate change and ocean policy will not be solved through scientific innovations alone. Ultimately, I believe that the answers to create a better world are in policy.
I am currently a scientist with the US Geological Survey in Woods Hole working to understand gas hydrates. My current work there involves biogeochemistry, developing, designing and programming new instruments for field and laboratory use, and conducting field work on research cruises. Prior to this I worked at the USGS Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, CA doing earthquake mechanics and fault gauge testing, and before that doing cave science with the National Park Service at Jewel Cave in South Dakota. In addition to science and policy work, I am an active caver, sailor, and amateur watchmaker.
2016 B.S. Zoology Humboldt State University
2019 M.S. Biology Humboldt State University
I am a doctoral student in the Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University. My interests are in functional micromorphology of invertebrates in the rocky intertidal. My previous work focused on intertidal ecosystems in Northern California. In my undergraduate, I worked on biodiversity of invertebrates and algae in the rocky intertidal spanning fifteen sites. During this time, I also monitored Sea Star Wasting Disease in the sea star Leptasterias spp in the laboratory and in all local species in the field.
My master’s work, was focused on aboral spine variation in the keystone predator Pisaster ochraceus, the ochre sea star, across environmental gradients with locations from Washington to Northern California. That project molded a lot of my current interests of blending natural history and modern technology including field assays, histology, scanning electron microscopy, micro CT scanning, and more. During this project, I was one of the leads on a project examining eelgrass, Zostera marina, to understand trophic interactions with the potential for bottom up carbon sequestering to mitigate environmental stressors largely effecting invertebrates that are expected to increase with climate change.
Overall, my interests and experiences vary across intertidal habitats to understand ecological relevance of organismal variation. In the Helmuth lab, I hope to continue rigorous science, but also connect with the community and synthesize the information for public consumption. Ideally, this is done with the hopes of making science more accessible, entertaining, and approachable for all.
In my free time, I enjoy creating marine themed functional pottery, scuba diving, and volleyball.
2019 B.S. Utrecht University
2020 B.A. Utrecht University
Joshua Nooij is a Master’s student in the Environmental Science and Policy program at Northeastern University. He received both his BSc in Global Sustainability Science and BA in Philosophy from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He has a broad interest in everything sustainability related, and as such has worked as a research assistant in many fields, ranging from landscape restoration in the Dutch South to sustainable policy recommendations for the Slovenian Ministry of Nature. Joshua’s second passion is education; he has worked as the education coordinator for WWF Amsterdam and has provided many guest lectures on the topic of nature and natural restoration. Here at Northeastern, Joshua is part of the Science Outreach Program at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center, and works together with professor Helmuth on the CLEAR-project and on TinySeas
2021 B.S. Northeastern University
Shortly after completing her B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in conservation science at Northeastern University, Sophia began her accelerated masters in Northeastern’s Environmental Science and Policy program.
In her future endeavors she hopes to play a role in bridging the gap between scientists, decisionmakers, and policymakers, which brought her to the Helmuth Lab. Currently, she is working on the Arancina project which aims to identify the trade-offs between uncertainty and spatial and temporal resolutions for different data products used by natural resource managers in fisheries, as well as how these trade-offs differ between countries. The Arancina project is in joint-collaboration with the University of Palermo in Sicily, Italy.
To further supplement her interest in this intersection between science and policy, she has had experiences working as a research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, a scientific analyst at Indigo Agriculture, a Clean Air and Water research intern at the Conservation Law Foundation, and most recently, as a land conservation corpsmember for the AmeriCorps in Denver, CO.
In her free time, she loves to bake, hike, and try out new coffee shops!