PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, 2005
Bachelor of Science, Marine and Coastal Ecology, California State University, Monterey Bay, USA, 2002-2007
Biography and research interests:
Mary completed her Bachelor's degree in Marine and Coastal Ecology at California State University, Monterey Bay where she also worked as a lab manager for the Seafloor Mapping Lab. During her time at the Seafloor Mapping Lab, she participated in the California Seafloor Mapping Program which mapped the coastal waters of California out to 3 nautical miles. During this time, Mary gained vast knowledge in the acquisition and processing of multibeam, sidescan and interferometric data. Even with this new skillset, her interest remained in marine ecology and mapping the seafloor gave insight into the heterogeneous environment in the oceans and sparked her interest in the field of marine landscape ecology. By using landscape ecology techniques and the seafloor maps, she completed and published her undergraduate capstone project on explaining and predicting rockfish distribution across the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary in California, USA.
During her year off between finishing her undergraduate degree and starting her graduate degree she also worked on and published a project with Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution looking at spawning location preference of California market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens). She then went on to complete her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Raimondi-Carr Lab.
The main goal of her Ph.D. research was to apply landscape ecology to answer broad scale questions in marine ecology. Combining oceanography, biogenic habitat and population connectivity, she looked at the distributions of temperate nearshore reef fishes, giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and the placement and evaluation of marine protected areas.
At Deakin, Mary’s research will be focused on looking at broad scale patterns in marine systems with the incorporation of oceanographic processes, population characteristics, genetics, and seafloor habitat. Understanding these broad scale patterns in the oceans will help to understand the effects of climate change and help with marine spatial planning.
2008 - Researcher on NOAA's search for deepwater caves in Bermuda
2005 - 2014 - Processing supervisor at Seafloor Mapping Lab at Claifornia State University at Monterey Bay