Below are recorded conversations titled “Women in Marine Science”.  Each of these women featured in the conversations is different in many ways including in their life experiences, academic tracks, career stages, and positions at the marine center. One thing they do have in common is that they are all successful women in marine science careers.

The conservation gives listeners insights into the experiences of each person in their role as a woman in marine science. Learn how they all got their starts, the structure of their support networks, the advice they would offer to their younger selves, how they see their role in marine science, and their opinions about being a woman in marine science.

Episode 1 – Conversation with Faculty Members

Dr. Stephanie Archer is an Assistant Professor at LUMCON. Her research focuses on exploring the structure and function of ecosystems formed by plants and animals (e.g. sponge grounds, coral reefs, oyster reefs, seagrass beds), and the role that habitat forming species play in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function using a combination of observational and experimental approaches. She also studies how human activities affect these ecosystems.

Dr. Abigail Bockus is an Assistant Professor at LUMCON. She is a fish biologist whose research focuses on aquaculture. Bockus is currently working on what we feed farmed fish and where new farms should be located. Bockus is particularly interested in developing offshore aquaculture farming in the Gulf of Mexico. Bockus research program also studies how aquatic animals interact with their habitat and how we can use biology to predict species success and distribution with climate change. This work focuses on a variety of marine animals, including invertebrates, fishes, and sharks.

Dr. Juliana D’Andrilli is an Assistant Professor at LUMCON and has worked in industry as well as academia. Her research focuses on carbon molecules and how they cycle through global aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. She studies carbon cycling by investigating the amount and type of carbon-based materials (or chemical energy) that are currently stored in glaciers and produced in rivers, soils, and marine waters, in order to predict future impacts of climate change.

Dr. Nancy Rabalais is a Distinguished Research Professor at LUMCON and a Professor and Shell Endowed Chair in Oceanography and Wetland Studies at Louisiana State University. Her research over the past 44 years has covered a wide range of topics, but her current focus is on low oxygen, or hypoxic, conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and the impacts of oil and gas industrial activity on coastal wetlands. She teaches and leads research efforts at LUMCON and LSU, including the annual shelf-wide research cruise to map the full extent of summer hypoxic conditions, known as “the Dead Zone”, in the Gulf of Mexico.

Episode 2 – Conversation with Science Staff

Delaina Leblanc has worked with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program since 2007 conducting coastal bird research to help protect habitat for migratory and resident birds. She is responsible for the coordination of bird surveys, management of data on several projects, and promotion of bird conservation and outreach. In 2015, Delaina received the Louisiana Ornithological Society’s President’s Award for her contributions to Louisiana shorebird research and habitat restoration. In addition to being the BTNEP Migratory Birds Coordinator, Delaina holds a Masters of Fine Arts and is an artist whose artwork is designed to call attention to coastal land loss and bird preservation issues.

Paige Clarizia joined the Roberts Lab in January 2020 as a project manager for the BOEM Ship Shoal project and is now the Roberts Lab manager. She earned a BS in Environmental Ecosystem Science and MS in Earth Science with a focus in Geochemical Cycling from the University of New Hampshire in May 2015 and December 2019, respectively. Prior to beginning her Masters, Paige completed a 12-month U.S. Fulbright Research Program in Sweden where she developed automated technology for measuring greenhouse gases from sub-arctic lakes.

Angel Casillo began her higher education in pre-veterinary science and switched to photography in hopes of pursuing a photojournalism career. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from LSU in 2010 and decided to return to school. She obtained another Bachelors’s from LSU in 2019, this time majoring in Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Angel works in Abigail Bockus’s lab at LUMCON, focusing on the environmental physiology of important aquaculture species. Projects have included analyzing salinity tolerance of juvenile brown shrimp, metabolism rates in bulk zooplankton communities, and effects of dietary acidification in red drum and hybrid striped bass.

Dr. Lauren Brown joined the Roberts lab in March 2020 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Wetland Plant Ecology. Her research interests are focused on human and climate change impacts on tidal wetlands. She obtained her PhD in 2019 at UCLA, where her dissertation focused on sediment dynamics and carbon absorbed from the atmosphere in Pacific coast salt marshes. She graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in Geography and Environmental Science in 2012.

Stephanie Plaisance is a Research Assistant II in the Roberts lab at LUMCON, she began in April 2019 as a research technician/assistant for the Coastal Waters Consortium project. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University in February 2019 with a BS in Environmental Science. During her undergraduate career, she worked in Dr. Jennifer Hill’s lab investigating the effects of nutrient levels on smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora).