I have worked in several capacities to better understand the link between marine mammal and human health, and in so doing, have developed a uniquely interdisciplinary skill set in scientific research, education and outreach. My research is directed towards understanding and interpreting interdisciplinary aspects of ocean health, and has largely focused on pathogen transmission in marine animals and the marine environment within the framework of “One Health.” This concept, that animal, human and environmental health are inextricably linked, is the central theme of my research.  

While I continue to investigate baseline health, pathogen transmission and how marine animals act as sentinels to ocean and human health, interpreting and communicating these results to the public, for management, and policy platforms has become central to my efforts. As an interdisciplinary community scientist, my collaborators include fishermen, veterinarians, engineers, marine mammal stranding organizations, social scientists, economists, NGOs, fishery and marine protected species managers, teachers, artists, land owners and local residents.

The goal of all my endeavors is to be able to provide the knowledge needed to mitigate human impact on marine species, understand risks of these impacts and facilitate effective collaborations that raise awareness of ocean health and the inextricable connection to our health.

I have been involved in research and outreach locally, nationally and internationally. The projects I have developed include research and outreach on marine mammals as sentinels of ocean and human health, as well as projects to address the often overlooked challenges of rebounding marine mammal populations in the context of health, ecosystem function and conflict. Realizing the needs and challenges in my own community, I co-founded and currently chair the Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium. 

I also participated as a board member in several local organizations, teach students at the K-12 level, as well as teach students at the undergraduate and graduate level. I volunteer lecture for local schools, town government and wherever there is a need to educate about seals, ecosystem health and the need for more community science.

I am also an artist and a naturalist. I love to cook and bring together friends and family. I can’t imagine living far from an ocean- or a good coffee shop. If I could I would give a home to every dog that needed one. The most important skill I have learned, is to listen: to each other, to the ocean, to nature and to ourselves.

Long Term Photo ID @ Shoals Marine Lab, Isles of Shoals, Maine

Brief Biography

Andrea obtained a B.A. (Studio Art) and B.S. (Wildlife Fisheries and Conservation Biology) from UC DAVIS, M.A. (Biology) from Boston University and Ph.D (Pathobiology) as well as a Certificate in Public Health from UCONN. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

She is a Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow, was awarded a Peaked Hill Trust Art and Science Residency and a Better Selves Fellowship through Knoll Farm.