As a marine microbial ecologist, I specialize in the study of microorganisms that live in the ocean and their interactions with their environment. My research historically focused specifically on the “plastisphere,” which refers to the microbial communities that colonize plastic debris in the ocean. I am interested in understanding how these communities form, how they function, and what their ecological impacts are on marine ecosystems. Through my research, I have also studied the different types of plastics that end up in the ocean, how they degrade over time, and how they are ingested by marine animals. I am also interested in the economic and social impacts of plastic pollution on coastal communities that rely on healthy oceans by looking into microplastic contaminated seafood.