Graduate Researchers


Aliya is a PhD student in the CEOAS Ocean Ecology & Biogeochemistry program at OSU. She is interested in how basin- and regional-scale ocean circulation patterns influence marine ecosystem structure and function. She is currently looking at how North Pacific Gyre circulation and coastal upwelling in the Northern California Current influence seascape boundaries and lower trophic level community structure over the shelf.  The research utilizes remote sensing data to detect and track spatiotemporal variability of oceanic fronts and multivariate seascapes. She will also be analyzing the spatiotemporal variability of phytoplankton size distribution as a means of tracking ecosystem responses to variability in coastal upwelling. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, Aliya enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest through hiking, backpacking, diving, and painting. 


Ian is a graduate student seeking a PhD in the Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences program at Oregon State University. He is interested in open-source oceanography, big data, and developing tools that will engage and aid the next generation of scientists. For his first year, Ian was partly funded under the Link Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship to begin development of an open-source flow camera for capturing images of plankton in a low-cost format. A challenge of this project will be to incorporate computer vision and machine learning to enable the autonomous identification of objects of interest in association with environmental variables from nearby sources of data. In his free time, Ian enjoys the outdoors, tinkering, and walking around hardware stores.


Raquel Gilliland majored in aquatic and marine biology, and minored in environmental studies and geography, earning a B.S. from Stetson University in Florida. She started her marine career in coral reef restoration and conservation working in the Florida Keys and then Oahu, Hawaii. She then continued towards environmental consulting and educational outreach for a nonprofit in Hawaii working on wastewater management. Looking to extend her career in resource management, she joined the Marine Resource Management program to get her master’s degree at OSU. Her thesis work is looking at the formation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) off the Oregon coast and how they affect state fisheries. Knowledge gained from these observations will help the Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (MBON) program to better understand plankton distributions and their interactions with some of Oregon’s most important fisheries. In her free time, she loves all things outdoors including surfing, snowboarding, and hiking


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