2022 B.S. Cornell University
I am broadly interested in population dynamics and conservation management. My undergraduate research was focused on looking at spatial and temporal trends in diet diversity and composition of a migratory, insectivorous songbird using DNA metabarcoding techniques. As a photographer and documentary filmmaker, I am also very interested in using visual media as educational tools to help break down barriers between scientists and the general public.
In the Helmuth Lab, I am leading a project looking at how thermal stress, both in magnitude and frequency, affects Tetraselmis suecica, a marine microalgae. In my future work I hope to continue to understand how marine ecosystems respond to climate stressors to help inform policy decisions.
In my free time, I love to do fashion photography (especially underwater!), play viola, work on embroidery projects, and take care of my many plants.
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.
Tasha Eileen O’Hara
2010 B.A. University of Rhode Island
2019 M.R.M. University of Akureryri
I am a doctoral student in Marine and Environmental Sciences. My broad research interests include marine monitoring, fisheries, and assessing the impacts of climate change and offshore development on marine ecosystems and coastal communities. I am passionate about community and ecosystem resiliency and I believe it’s important to continuously find new ways to bridge gaps between scientists, managers, marine users, and the public to solve emerging problems.
I’m currently a Research Biologist at Coonamessett Farm Foundation, a marine science non-profit based in Cape Cod. I am the lead PI for the annual Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) stock assessment survey, utilizing underwater cameras and integrated environmental sensors, as well as other STEM and fisheries education initiatives. Prior to this, I worked in the Ecosystems Surveys Branch at NOAA Fisheries in Woods Hole, conducting ecosystem surveys for the Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis), Atlantic Sea Scallop, and multispecies groundfish fisheries. I’ve also carried out groundfish surveys in the arctic waters of Alaska and Iceland. For my master’s, I conducted depth-dependent studies of green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) reproduction with the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland.