Team

Francis Choi M.S.

Francis Choi M.S.

Senior Lab Manager

2008 B.S. University of British Columbia
2011 M.S. University of British Columbia

I obtained my graduate degree at the University of British Columbia. For my graduate work, I studied the effects of propagule pressure on marine invasive species in intertidal communities. But more generally, I am interested in how marine ecosystems are transformed by the indirect effects of human disturbance. Introduction of invasive species is only one of the many indirect pressures we can have towards the ecosystem

Climate change has become one of the premiere possible indirect effects that we are imposing on global ecosystems. As a lab manager for the Helmuth lab, I manage multiple projects that focus on how ecosystem engineers in the intertidal are affected by the potential impact of climate change. We emphasize not only research but also how our research can impact civic engagement and policymaking. Our lab focuses on three equal parts of science 1) conduct research and gather facts 2) communicate the research to the science community and 3) communicate research to the general public and related stakeholders to engage in civic dialogues, promote citizen science actions and decision making.

Jessica Torossian Ph.D.

Jessica Torossian Ph.D.

Researcher

2007 B.F.A. New York University
2013 B.S. University of Massachusetts Boston
2020 Ph.D Northeastern University

My research interests involve understanding and predicting how ecosystems will respond to climate change. Climate-mediated changes in physiological performance, species interactions, and recruitment are likely to alter both community structure and ecosystem services provided. According to metacommunity theory, these localized effects can become regionalized if multiple communities are linked through dispersal. Sublethal processes that affect life-history strategies such as growth rates and reproduction have the potential to drive not only population dynamics, but metacommunity dynamics as well.

I am interested in how climate change may affect both predator-prey dynamics and reproduction through changes in physiology, and how these local-scale responses translate into metacommunity-level effects. Using interacting species with different life-history traits and dispersal strategies I hope to investigate how thermal stress and food availability impact reproduction and ultimately population dynamics. The goal of my research is to use these data in a metacommunity-based model to predict how populations and communities will respond to climate change. An improved understanding of how interconnected communities interact may have important implications for both conservation and restoration efforts.

David Sittenfeld

David Sittenfeld

Ph.D Candidate

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.

Aubrey Foulk

Aubrey Foulk

Ph.D Candidate

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.

Lark Parmalee

Lark Parmalee

M.S. Student

2020 M.S. Northeastern University

My research interests involve understanding how to communicate science effectively. Scientific posters have long followed a traditional format of very rigid sections. My question is to explore if an alternative scientific poster format (Poster 2.0) can better attract, engage, and inform the scientific community. 

The results could potentially revolutionize one of the most classic forms of scientific communication, poster sessions, which currently exist primarily within the scientific community. If the results of this study support poster2.0 as being superior for information transfer and or preference, the new format may be able to extend the sharing of research studies outside of the scientific community. This would help to bridge the longstanding gap separating the scientific community from the public by making results and findings more interesting and understandable. This study, therefore, has the potential to help scientists, researchers, and members of the non-scientific community or the general public, by creating a much more inclusive and united learning environment. With a unified understanding of new research, an improved poster format could accelerate society to understanding and addressing barriers such as those relating to environmental concerns, public health, and socio-economic issues, to name a few.

Undergraduate Interns

Sophia Ly

Sophia Ly

Undergrad Intern

Harley Hayes

Harley Hayes

Undergrad Intern