About Me

I am currently a lecturer at CSU Channel Islands, my alma mater, where I am also able to continue my research on the impacts of plastic pollution.

I finished my PhD at Portland State University in 2021, in Dr. Catherine de Rivera’s lab, where I studied the impacts of microplastics on near shore marine organisms.  My research was funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and allowed me to investigate shoreline plastic pollution in California, the California Channel Islands, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Oregon.

I grew up in southern California going to the beach every weekend with my family because is was cheap entertainment for me and my brothers.  My mom packed tuna sandwiches, string cheese and salty chips in the morning and we headed out with our boogie boards.  My Dad taught us how to get into the riptide to get out behind the waves quicker with our boogie boards…..needless to say the lifeguards did not appreciate this.  In high school I really wanted to be a large animal veterinarian which meant a lot of college but my folks didn’t have the means to send me and I barely made it thru school in general – not the best grades, so I ended up joining the Marine Corps and trained to be a Helicopter crew chief.  It’s kind of a mix of a mechanic and navigator.  When I came home, I took time to adjust and worked a bunch of random jobs until figuring out going back to school was the smart move. I finished up my bachelors degree at California State University Channel Islands in Environmental Science and Biology and that is where my research started. I’ve worked with the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a Park Ranger where I taught community groups about the California Condor and other cool wildlife in their backyards.


I moved to Portland with my wife to start my PhD in Marine Ecology in 2017.  I received the National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship in my second year and this fellowship has allowed me to investigate what happens to crabs and fish when they ingest microplastics. My research has taken me along the coast of Oregon, California, the California Channel Islands, Hawaii and Costa Rica.  I have been very lucky to have a supportive spouse during this journey along with really great mentors that have gone out of their way to help me be successful.

I like to share my story with the next generation of scientists because its a little weird and different from what you are “supposed” to do.  I give a lot of community science talks about Marine Debris and microplastics in freshwater and marine environments and have great discussions with people that truly care about the health of the planet.  Science communication is a very important part of my work as it takes all of us to make a real difference.










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