I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and have always had a deep abiding love for the misty and mysterious forests and waterways of the Salish Sea.
Applying my love of ecosystems to the sciences came later in life after an unplanned SCUBA diving trip. From my first breath underwater I was hooked, and promptly returned to school for my undergrad degree at the University of Washington, where I became a certified scientific diver conducting subtidal research in the San Juan Islands at Friday Harbor Labs. I went on to get my Masters at the University of British Columbia where I spent several summers at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre in Barkley Sound BC working in subtidal eelgrass ecosystems. I then worked as a dive and field technician for the Hakai Institute and Smithsonian Institution, exploring kelp forests, coral reefs, and mangrove wetlands around the world. Currently I am a PhD student at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology’s Coastal Trophic Ecology Lab studying food webs in kelp communities along the Oregon Coast.
My experiences as a student, teacher, and researcher have reinforced my belief that scientists have a duty to communicate their work with the public, particularly the next generation. The role of scientific outreach and education cannot be underestimated. As such, I strive to share my work with others and take every opportunity to make outreach an integral part of what I do.
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Whippo R, Knight NS, Prentice C, Cristiani J, Siegle MR, O’Connor MI (2018) Epifaunal diversity patterns within and among seagrass meadows suggest landscape-scale biodiversity processes. Ecosphere 9:e02490.
Staaterman E, Ogburn M, Altieri A, Brandl S, Whippo R, Seemann J, Goodison M, Duffy J (2017) Bioacoustic measurements complement visual biodiversity surveys: preliminary evidence from four shallow marine habitats. Marine Ecology Progress Series 575:207–215.