In 2022, the Pandolfi Lab has welcomed three new honours students and retained an old one! Josh and Emer started their programs in January 2022, while Kirsten and Sarah joined the lab in August 2022.
Joshua Wirth – Honours Student
Joshua completed his Bachelor of Science in late 2021, where he majored in Ecology. Following his interest in ecology, he joined the lab in early 2022 as an Honours student. In Joshua’s Honours research project, he examined potential changes in the extent of coral bleaching and algal coverage in Moreton Bay following the February 2022 Brisbane floods.
Emer Cunningham – PhD Candidate
Emer joined the Marine Palaeoecology Lab in 2019, where she worked to reconstruct historical fisheries records with Carolina Chong-Montenegro. Following her honours year of research in 2021, Emer is sticking around in the lab to complete her PhD research. She is studying ecological novelty in marine assemblages across time and space, which involves a bit of swimming and a lot of statistics. Emer loves learning and teaching science; when she’s not reading the literature or troubleshooting her code, you might find her on campus tutoring wide audiences about science – whether she’s surveying sclerophyll forest with high school students or chatting about turtle skulls with second-year zoologists.
Kirsten Golding – Honours Student
Kirsten is currently completing her honours within a Bachelor of Advanced Science, where she is studying the hard substrate benthic communities in Quandamooka Sea Country (Moreton Bay). These communities, composed of algaes, corals and other invertebrates, are subject to significant stress from pollution, flooding, and warm water events. Kirsten is investigating spatial and temporal trends in benthic community structure to better understand the vulnerability of these communities to stress. Kirsten is passionate about making science accessible to broader audiences. She likes to spend her spare time scuba diving and working on science communication projects.
Sarah Hampson – Honours Student
I started my Honours research with the Marine Paleoecology lab in August 2022, aiming to investigate the emergence of ecological novelty in global freshwater fish communities. Before this, I completed a dual degree in Ecology, German, Japanese, social science, and international relations – a truly wild mix! I often describe myself as a generalist, as I love branching out into different fields. As such, I have had many unique opportunities, including working in the engineering sector for Boeing over the last two years. I currently am a tutor and lab technician for the Faculty of Science. Alongside this I am involved in a student-staff partnership looking to improve the online teaching and learning environment for first year science students. If, and when I have time spare, I enjoy hiking with my cat Murphy (pictured).