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.
Expected 2025 B.S. Northeastern University
I am a second-year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a concentration in conservation, restoration, and management. I also plan on enrolling in Northeastern University’s PlusOne Program and pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy.
As I am unexperienced in the field of environmental research, I believe working in the Helmuth lab will be the perfect opportunity to explore a variety of environmental issues and create innovative solutions. By obtaining hands-on experience in a lab, I hope to become a confident researcher and potentially discover a specific interest to go into in my future career regarding conservation ecology.
In my free time, I attend archery practice, read, crochet, and go thrift shopping.
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.
2019 B.S. Biology University of Maryland, Baltimore County
I am a Master’s Student in the Environmental Science & Policy Program at Northeastern University. Prior to the Helmuth Lab, I worked at the Downeast Institute in Beals, Maine, studying larval blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) diet and its potential for mitigating the effects of ocean acidification and warming. I am currently applying for Ph.D. programs and I am interested in researching ocean acidification and warming in the context of mesophotic coral ecosystems and how they can aid in the rehabilitation of shallow coral reefs. Ultimately, I am very open to learning new things and working with a wide variety of species because I believe bringing an eclectic experience to the lab can be beneficial to provide different perspectives to find solutions while working through experiments.
I hope that I am able to take everything I learn and teach future generations about our impact on crucial marine ecosystems and what we can realistically do to reverse these impacts while better understanding how these systems work. In my free time, I love hiking and have recently gotten very into crocheting. While I am not the biggest fan of cold weather, I love that it gives me the perfect excuse to stay comfy in bed to read, cuddle my roommate’s cat, and nap!
Expected 2026 B.S. Northeastern University
I am currently a freshman at Northeastern University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology. I am very interested in how climate change affects different organisms and ecosystems as a whole. I am interested in researching and enacting ocean-based climate solutions, using science to inform policy. I want to make science accessible to the general public, bridging the gap between scientists and everyday people. I am also interested in using film and photography to communicate about marine science and climate issues.
At the Helmuth lab, I will be helping study how thermal stress affects Tetraselmis suecica.
In my free time, I enjoy swimming, landscape photography, crocheting, surfing, paddle boarding, and pretty much any activity that has to do with the ocean.
Expected 2023 B.S. Northeastern University
I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at Northeastern University majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Environmental Studies. I plan on enrolling in the Three Seas Program to get my Masters in Marine Biology upon completion of my BS. I am currently working in the Helmuth Lab as a part of my senior capstone project.
I am interested in a wide range of marine and environmental topics including environmental responses to climate change, fisheries and conservation biology, and social ecology. I hope to bridge the gap between science, policy makers, and the public to promote sustainability and ecological resilience. I am also passionate about outreach and making science more accessible to communities and classrooms. Through this, I hope to get the public engaged in marine sciences and promote the next generation of scientists.
Jeriyla (Jeh-rye-la) Kamau-Weng
BS Marine biology, Northeastern University M.S Environmental Science and Policy 2023
I am a masters student in the Environmental Science and Policy Masters Program at Northeastern University. My research interests cover aquaculture practices, ecologic interactions, and swimming biomechanics. Prior to working with the Helmuth Lab, I studied the physiological adaptations of Antarctic Icefish in the Harris Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. In my undergrad, I have worked in a variety of lab settings ranging from the reproductive physiology of termites to Chimaera coughing at Friday Harbor Labs. Having an interdisciplinary approach brings fresh perspectives to science, and I hope that I can fuse my experiences to bring more life into my research.
In the Helmuth lab, I am working on developing a warm-water Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture Plan for the Proteus project. I hope that this internship will teach me more about the development process of starting an aquaculture venture. In addition, I am excited to learn more about the potential for aquaculture to become more sustainable using methods that mirror natural nutrient cycling processes.
In my free time I like to go for a nice run, journal, and watch k-dramas and c-dramas. I’ve also gotten into surfing and hope to own my own surf-board one day!