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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 my research objectives continue to focus on understanding baseline health, pathogen transmission and how marine animals act as sentinels to ocean and human health, interpreting and communicating these results to the public and for use in management and policy platforms is of great importance as well. 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 goals of my endeavors are to be able to provide the knowledge needed to mitigate human impact on marine species, understand risks of these impacts, facilitate effective collaborations, and raise awareness of ocean health and the connection to human 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.

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 Farms.

Andrea’s CV can be found here:

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