Steering Committee:

Ellie Bors, MIT/WHOI:


Ellie Bors earned her PhD at the Joint Program in Oceanography between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research focuses on the impacts of rapid range expansion on populations at the genomic level. She is interested in climate-driven distributional shifts as well as invasive species. Ellie also has a passion for deep-sea biology. She grew up in Seattle, Washington, by the mountains and the sea and owes her passion for nature to the stunning environment in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about her work and interests on her personal website.

Annie Bourbonnais, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth:

Annie2Annie is currently a research assistant professor at the School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Her research is focused on the biogeochemical oceanographic processes that affect climate, particularly nitrogen (N), an essential nutrient for all organisms limiting marine primary productivity in most of the ocean. Her recent projects have utilized stable isotopes of particulate and dissolved N species, dissolved gases and sedimented materials to address questions related to marine N cycling. She participated to 7 major oceanographic expeditions, e.g. in the Northeast Atlantic, the Northeast Pacific (studying hydrothermal vents) and the Eastern Tropical North and South Pacific. She is glad to be involved with SMWS and wish helping other early career female scientists.

Sophie Chu, JISAO:

Sophie_Chu_smallSophie recently completed her PhD from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. She is currently a JISAO postdoc working at NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory evaluating new ocean carbon sensors. She is interested in issues studying how human activities affect the environment such as ocean acidification. Recently, she has become more engaged in activities involving the discussion of gender issues and challenges women face in the worlds of academia and science. She believes SWMS will provide a great platform to encourage support and networking for women in marine science.

Chrissy Hernandez, MIT/WHOI:


Chrissy Hernandez is a graduate student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program studying fisheries oceanography and larval fish ecology. Coming from a background in environmental engineering, she has a strong interest in resource management and environmental policy. Her graduate work, with Dr. Joel Llopiz at WHOI, focuses on early life stages and population dynamics of commercially-harvested species. Chrissy hopes to work at the intersection of science and public policy; she believes that innovative approaches to longstanding questions will be critically important in a changing ocean, and this in turn depends on a diverse workforce in STEM and public policy.

Anna Robuck, URI:

Anna RobuckAnna is a PhD Candidate at URI-GSO working with Rainer Lohmann. Her research examines the transport and distribution of organic pollutants in marine food webs. Anna is a NOAA Nancy Foster Scholar and conducts much of her research in regional coastal systems. She previously earned her MS from UNC Wilmington, focusing on coastal water quality. Anna is committed to science communication and inclusivity in science; via SWMS she hopes to encourage women and other underrepresented individuals to boldly excel in marine science.

Hilary Palevsky, WHOI:

Hilary_CTDHilary is chemical oceanographer studying how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the role of phytoplankton in the marine carbon cycle. She completed her PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she spent many weeks at sea in the North Pacific on commercial container ships and research vessels. She is now a postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she uses autonomous biogeochemical sensors and numerical model simulations to study the ocean without getting wet. She is strongly committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive scientific community, and to fostering the talents of scientists of all genders and personal backgrounds in our labs, classrooms, and in the field. You can read more about her work on her personal website.

 Gabi Serrato Marks, MIT/WHOI:


Gabi is PhD student in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. She got her B.A. in Earth and Oceanographic Science from Bowdoin College. She is based at MIT, where she works with David McGee on stalagmites from the Yucatan Peninsula. Her research focuses on paleoclimate and precipitation records. She in interested in science communication and public outreach, as well as issues of diversity and inclusion in STEM. Twitter: @gserratomarks.


Alexa Sterling, URI:

Alexa SterlingAlexa is a current PhD student in Dr. Bethany Jenkins’ lab at the University of Rhode Island. Her research focuses on marine microbial ecology and molecular work such as metagenomics. Currently, she is examining interactions between Southern Ocean diatoms and their associated bacteria. She has a passion for teaching and enjoys leading Marine Biology labs at URI. Recently, she earned her Masters in Marine Affairs and loves the interdisciplinary and inclusive atmosphere of SWMS for all of marine science! Twitter: @AquaticSterling



Former steering committee members can be found here.