Graduate Researchers


Aliya is an M.S. 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. 


Becky Smoak is an incoming first-year student pursuing her Master’s degree in the Marine Resource Management program at OSU. She graduated in May of 2020 from Washington State University with a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science, and minors in Biology and Forestry. She was a 2019 REU Intern in CEOAS working under Dr. Maria Kavanaugh where she conducted field-based research in plankton ecology. She was awarded the 2020-21 Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Management Resource Studies Graduate Fellowship. Her graduate studies will focus on developing phytoplankton-based indicators of food quality which will benefit state agencies, NOAA fisheries management, and the fishing industry. She will be working in collaboration between scientists at Oregon State University and NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC). Besides her love of ecology, Becky loves showing dressage with her horse and competed on the WSU Equestrian team while pursuing her undergraduate degree at WSU. She loves spending time with animals of all shapes and sizes and exploring the beauty of the West Coast.

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