Lab Technicians

Megan Hintz

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2013; M.S. in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from UW, 2018
General Becker Lab and Olympia Oyster Connectivity Project

I’m currently working towards my Masters of Science at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences co-advised by Dr. Bonnie Becker and Dr. Steven Roberts. I started in the Becker Lab at UW Tacoma as an undergraduate researcher on two projects: determining the ability of mussels to remove nutrients from the Thea Foss Waterway and measuring the distribution of Olympia oyster larvae in Fidalgo Bay. Following graduation with my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science (UWT 2013), I completed an eight-month internship at the Center for Urban Waters, where I investigated different methods to remove phosphorus from stormwater. Currently, my thesis research focuses on studying the movements of larval oysters to enhance restoration efforts. I grew up exploring and enjoying the unique marine environment of Puget Sound and I love working towards conserving and protecting this precious ecosystem so many people and organisms depend on.  I’m driven to balance the needs of our community with the protection of marine ecosystems, with a particular passion for intertidal communities and shellfish.

Follow Megan on Twitter (@BivalveFanatic). To contact through email, use form below.

 

Michelle McCartha

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2014
General Becker Lab and Ocean Acidification Project

The ocean has always been place of respite for me and my family. We have had a variety of marine adventures, from fishing at the docks in Port Orchard, WA to riding the waves in Virginia Beach, VA. It’s no coincidence that when I was an undergraduate at UW Tacoma, I chose to involve myself in various research projects that were marine-based. My introduction to marine research was through working with Professors Bonnie Becker and Jim Gawel on my UWT capstone that involved examining the usefulness of a metal response protein as a potential bioindicator of metal stress in bottom dwelling communities. This capstone was extended to a multiple quarter undergraduate research project when I was awarded both the IAS Undergraduate Research Scholarship and the Mary Cline Undergraduate Research Award. After this experience, I continued to participate in a variety of undergraduate research projects, including the investigation of stable isotopes in the marine environment while interning at the NOAA Pacific Marine Mammal Laboratory, participating in a funded Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and conducting research on mussel bioenergetics as it pertains to byssal thread production at Friday Harbor Labs with funding from the Mary Gates Endowment Scholarship. Having participated in these projects and presented my work at multiple conferences both locally and nationally (and being awarded honorable mention for best undergraduate poster at the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference) has affirmed my interest in becoming a research scientist. Knowing that I can be a part of the solution to environmental concerns and that there is no end to the questions we can ask about nature is both intellectually challenging and motivating to me to pursue my research goals.

Follow Michelle on Twitter (@Geoduck_Pac). To contact through email, use form below.

 

Hozoji Matheson-Margullis

BioDiver with Puyallup Tribe Shellfish Department

I have just begun my journey into the academic side of my love for the Puget Sound. I have worked the last 8 years as a diver with the Puyallup Tribe Shellfish Department. My love for the dark life below began as a geoduck harvester on a boat called the Nishga Gang. It evolved from there and led me to working with the biology department at the tribe counting geoducks instead of killing them. My goal is to gain the knowledge and experience required to eventually work more thoroughly with the tribe in protecting and rehabilitating our precious resource.

Read more about Hozoji in an article by Motherboard, The Geoduck Diver. To contact through email, use form below.

 

Undergraduate Researchers

Stevie CollinsStevie Collins

B.A. in Environmental Studies, Minor in Sustainability from UW Tacoma, expected 2018

I am currently a senior wrapping up my final year here at UW Tacoma. Since I began my college journey my love for the environment has grown immensely. I am particularly interested in ways to conserve ecological systems and how to lessen my own footprint on the world. I enjoy spreading environmentally friendly tips and hope to spread the message of sustainability worldwide. Currently, I also volunteer at JBLM in Lakewood working on restoration ecology around the base. I joined the Becker lab to widen my skill set in the scientific lab setting and to gain knowledge of local shellfish. Upon graduation, I am completing a 5-month internship at Disney World, then taking my knowledge across seas to volunteer with Peace Corps.

Suji Kim

B.S in Environmental Studies from UW Tacoma, expected 2018

I am currently a senior at the University of Washington-Tacoma majoring in environmental studies. I’ve always had an interest in environmental problems and ways society is dealing with them as well as the regulations and policies that are being implemented to conserve our environment. I am proud to be a part of the Becker Lab to expand my researching skills. And after I graduate, I hope that the valuable skills and information I learn by being part of the Becker Lab will further my interest in becoming a researcher on environmental issues.

Brianna LoucksBrianna Loucks

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, expected 2019.

I am currently a Junior at the University of Washington Tacoma, majoring in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Biology, and double minoring in Global Engagement (through the Global Honors Program) and Marine Biology through UW Seattle. I have always felt connected to the land, outdoors, and the sea; and at the end of the day, I am proud to be making a contribution to preserving this world’s beautiful animals and other species. I am very happy and blessed to be able to work for the Becker Lab, where it gives me first-hand experience of working in a lab professionally. This experience helps set me apart for future opportunities and allows me to have experiences that I can use in my career moving forward.

Grace McKenneyGrace McKenney

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and minor in Global Engagement, expected 2019

I am currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Minor in Global Engagement at the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT). I enjoy all aspects of science, from marine and wildlife biology, to geology and oceanography, to multiple topics in between. I joined Becker Lab in late 2017, and had two reasons/goals in mind when doing so,: 1) learn valuable research skills and 2) spend time looking at things through a microscope. Thus, far I have definitely begun completion of those goals, and hope to continue expanding on them through my time at UWT and in Becker Lab.

 David Mullins

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, expected 2018.

My studies emphasize forest and wildlife ecology, but my interests are not solely limited to terrestrial life. My education has led me to have a love and fascination for all life and the complex mechanisms that take place inside of living organisms. I have also become fascinated by how all life interacts with each other to create amazing and complex ecosystems. I want to conduct research that has, or leads, to positive effects on the organism as well as other life on the planet. I want to continue to learn about living organisms and to help educate others with my research. I joined this research team to get more hands-on experience before I graduate. I look forward to helping conduct research as a member of the Becker Lab team to help in the restoration efforts of the Olympia Oyster.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Recent Graduates

Axton Bullock

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2017

I am an undergraduate student at the University of Washington Tacoma progressing towards my BS degree in Environmental Science. I have always been captivated with science and the natural world which has allowed me to discover the domain of marine life. I am proud to be working with the Becker lab on studying the movements of larval oysters throughout the Peugeot Sound. I look forward to bringing new perspective and different talents to the lab to help move along our goal of restoration.

Jennifer Gonzaga

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma with Minor in Marine Biology from UW Seattle, 2017

Emily Thomsen

Wilson High School Graduate, 2017

Laura Thornill

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2017

Sarah White

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2017

I am currently a senior at the University of Washington Tacoma pursuing a B.S. Degree in Environmental Science. I have always had an interest in marine biology and ecology.  With the Becker Lab I’m able to apply my interest to laboratory research and I recently had the opportunity to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Washington. When I’m not in the Becker Lab, I am teaching marine science to future scientists at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma. I am proud to be a part of a group that researches the effects of climate change and aids in Puget Sound restoration efforts.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Katie Zentner

B.S. in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, 2017
I am currently a senior at the University of Washington Tacoma pursuing a B.S. degree in Environmental Science on the Biology Track. My year at the Becker Lab has allowed me to apply my passion for biology to both laboratory and research applications and has resulted in opportunities to present my work at both the Western Society of Naturalists conference in Monterey, California and the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Washington. I have recently accepted a position as a student instructor as part of the Math and Science Leadership Program through the University of Washington Tacoma, where I will be leading students through laboratory work that will result in the creation of their own poster to present. I hope to help nurture and guide the minds of young scientists just as the Becker lab has done for me. I want to do my part in creating a society of scientists actively participating in the care for our planet.

 

Contact the Becker Lab