Megan Schutt


Research Area: Offshore wind energy and boundary layer meteorology



Twitter: @GalesAndGusts

Advisor: Harvey Seim

Megan is a second year Masters student with Harvey Seim at UNC. Her undergraduate degree is in Aerospace Engineering, and she is now part of the wind resource assessment study analyzing the feasibility of offshore wind development in North Carolina. Megan is passionate about renewable energy science and development of all types, and looks forward to the day when fossil fuels will be a relic of the past. In her free time, Megan likes to read science fiction, make soup, and purchase way too many cassette tapes off the internet.

Kelsey Ellis


Research Area:  Phytoplankton Molecular Physiology and Genomics


Twitter: @ellis_kels


Advisor: Dr. Adrian Marchetti

Kelsey graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2013 with highest honors in Environmental Science and a Marine Science minor. She returned to UNC as a first year graduate student in the Marchetti Lab, researching the genomic basis and physiological effects of vitamin B12 and iron colimitation on bloom-forming marine diatoms. When not exploring the phytoplankton world, Kelsey spends her time backpacking, reading, and watching horror movies.

Serena Hackerott

Advisor: Dr. John Bruno Research Area: Coral Reef Ecology Email: Website: Twitter: @snhackerott  Research Area: Coral Reef Ecology


Twitter: @snhackerott


UNdertheC Alumna

Serena graduated in Dec 2014 with her Master’s in Marine Science from UNC Chapel Hill. She was a student in Dr. John Bruno’s marine ecology lab and studied the effects of invasive lionfish on coral reef ecosystems in Belize.  In addition to her research, developing science communication and outreach skills became a priority to Serena throughout her graduate program. Serena will still blog with UNdertheC from lower latitudes during her new position as Coral Reef Ecology Intern with CIEE Bonaire. You can follow her post-graduate school adventures on her new personal blog: Adventures of Serenita. While not dreaming about traveling the world, Serena enjoys scuba diving, sailing, painting, and trying her hand at underwater photography.

JP Rippe

Rippe1-2Research Area: Coral physiology and ecology


Advisor: Karl Castillo 

JP is a first year PhD student in Karl Castillo’s coral physiology lab. He graduated in 2013 from the University of Virginia, where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and a B.A. in Biology with specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation. His research at UNC focuses on how the ecology and geographic range of tropical coral reef communities are changing as a result of a warming climate. Outside of his research activities, JP enjoys traveling and exploring new places with his faithful canine companion, playing all kinds of sports, and spending time outdoors.

Evan Amber

plum island20Research Area: Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry


Advisor/Lab: Dr. Andreas Teske, Microbial Ecology Lab

Evan is a first year Ph.D student in the Department of Marine Sciences. He is broadly interested in biodiversity and controls in “extreme environments”, and their applications to ecology, evolution and conservation. Evan currently works on community composition and biogeochemistry of deep sea hydrothermal sediments in the Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California. He graduated with a B.S. in Biology with Summa Cum Laude highest Honors distinction from Binghamton University in December 2014. Evan loves outdoor activities like backpacking and kayaking, is picking up SCUBA, and is a fan of fantasy novels and watching movies.