Florida State University is well known for the variety of interesting programs and exceptional research findings. I was interested in interdisciplinary research that involves using integrated approaches and diverse meteorological and oceanographic tools. FSU gave me that opportunity, as I was able to work with Dr. Mike Stukel, who is an oceanographer from the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, and Dr. Mark Bourassa, who is a meteorologist from the Center for Ocean and Atmospheric Prediction Studies.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
As a little child, I had always been fascinated by nature and water bodies. My interest grew stronger during the final year of my undergraduate program in Marine Sciences. My undergraduate project widened my research horizon, and I wanted to do more exploration of the ocean. Hence, pursuing a research-based graduate degree in Oceanography became a necessity for me. I wanted to expand my skills and knowledge in Oceanography, become more competitive in my career, and boost my professional network by meeting those who are highly motivated and goal-oriented.
Importance and/or impact of research and work
I used remote sensing to study the lateral advection of particulate organic carbon in the offshore Agro basin in the eastern Indian Ocean. This study region is the only known region in the world where southern bluefin tuna spawn, despite being a highly migratory species. Understanding how nutrients are being transported into this oligotrophic (i.e. low nutrient and chlorophyll concentration) region would help model and predict future conditions of the ecosystem to preserve this very highly economically valuable fish.
I would love to work in a private or governmental organization that is actively involved in regulating natural resources and making policies.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Pursuing graduate school comes with a lot of determination and intentionality. Your interest, readiness to work, and the advisor you work with will determine your success in graduate school. Remember there is time for everything, so learn to balance your career with your social life and connect with people!
Accomplishments during graduate career
I was able to participate in a month-long research cruise to the California current ecosystems in 2021 and in another three-month international research cruise this year to the Indian Ocean where we investigated bluefin larvae and the food web in the oligotrophic open waters. We sailed for about two weeks from Guam to Darwin, Australia, then towards offshore, which was our study region. I was able to connect with esteemed scientists in my field, and those experiences formed a big part of my career. I was also able to get in situ measurements, which I analyzed as part of my research and are yet to be published.