Sabrina Heiser headshot.

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My primary research interest lies within the ecology of seaweeds and more specifically what drives their distribution, community patterns and their role as ecosystem engineers. For my project, I am studying how defensive secondary metabolites as well as gene flow is affecting this.

Since my parents got me into scuba diving when I was eight years old, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I am lucky enough to still be on that path and being able to use scuba diving to study my favorite marine organisms: seaweeds. I grew up in Germany and did my BSc (Hons) Marine Biology at Plymouth University (UK). For my undergraduate research project, I mapped the distribution of the non-native kelp Undaria pinnatifida in the local bay area. After that I worked for British Antarctic Survey for 2.5 years at the British research station Rothera on the Western Antarctic Peninsula as a Marine Assistant. Now I am at UAB pursuing my Ph.D. in the ecology of defensive secondary metabolite production of the red seaweed Plocamium cartilagineum. My research site is at Palmer Station (Antarctica).

Faculty Advisor: Charles Amsler

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