MESM, Bren School, UC Santa Barbara
Erin is a San Diego native who spent her childhood tidepooling. Her love of the ocean took her to Santa Barbara, where she received her B.S. in Aquatic Biology in 2013. After graduating, Erin worked as an intern and then lab technician for the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (MCR LTER) lab at UCSB and in Moorea, French Polynesia. Her time in Moorea exposed Erin to coral reefs for the first time, and she soon saw how unique and fragile these ecosystems are. Erin saw all of the research in Moorea conducted by people all over the world, but noticed no local conservation or management seemed to stem from any findings. To address this, Erin came to Bren for her master’s degree to gain a better understanding of how science, policy, economics, and interdisciplinary collaboration come together to make conservation a priority. Erin focused on planning and incentivizing native oyster restoration in Southern California for her master’s thesis, and was supported by the Honda Marine Science Foundation throughout. The project gained a lot of local attention, and motivated more collaborative Olympia oyster restoration efforts along the west coast. Erin is now in her PhD at the Bren school in the hopes of motivating more conservation in coral reef systems in the South Pacific through field experiments, monitoring, communication, and ecological modeling.
Restoration ecology and understanding drivers of coral reef resilience in French Polynesia.