Marie is a marine ecologist with 19 years experience in applied marine research, large-scale monitoring programs, and marine resource management. Marie has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Master of Science degree in Oceanography from the Department of Oceanography, School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. She began her career as a research diver conducting Central and Southern California subtidal kelp forest community surveys as part of a long-term monitoring effort to advance understanding of the coastal ocean within the California marine ecosystem and inform management and policy. She subsequently moved to Hawai’i to work with NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) conducting coral reef ecological research on 40 islands and atolls to assess the status and trends of coral reefs in the central and western Pacific.
During her 12-year tenure with NOAA, Marie played a significant role coordinating research, leading field science, and implementing the design, collection, management, and analysis of high-quality data for NOAA’s large-scale interdisciplinary coral reef ecosystem monitoring program. These comprehensive efforts involved collaboration with policy makers, resource managers, scientific, private, government, and nongovernmental organizations. Marie has had the unique opportunity to work collaboratively with a wide range of people on multidisciplinary projects including ocean and climate studies, marine debris survey and removal efforts, habitat mapping, designing and implementing rigorous data management and synthesis procedures, statistically analyzing and evaluating ecological data, developing and improving data workflows, and research leveraging innovative technology, tools, and analyses to improve the science and management of marine ecosystems. Collectively, these experiences exposed Marie to the challenges faced in resource management, monitoring, and science and allowed her to develop the skillset needed to address these challenges.
Marie’s primary research interests include utilizing robust quantitative frameworks to investigate biogeophysical relationships in marine ecology to better under spatial distribution dynamics. She is an experienced user of R, Matlab, Python, ArcGIS, and MS Access and has over 5 years of experience applying statistical procedures and interpreting results with marine ecology data. She is passionate about data science with applications in marine ecology in order to maximize the usability and value of data to support sound science and resource management.