Julia

PhD Candidate 
Marine Science & Conservation 
Duke University Marine Laboratory
Political Ecology of Coastal Fisheries

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I am interested in human-nature relationships and developing strategies to support environmental health and human well-being. I study the intersections of social, ecological, and political dimensions of fisheries and coastal management. I believe sustainable and healthy futures for coastal communities require environmentally and socially just management and governance developed through interdisciplenary, place-based, community-informed research and collective action.

My dissertation research focuses on knowledge and power in coastal fishery governance. I study the integration of multiple knowledges, values, and worldviews into the governance of salmon on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I conduct research with the permission and guidance of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Ha'oom Fishing Society, with intent to support the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations' path towards self determination through agency in fisheries governance. I also contribute to projects regarding seafood values and oyster aquaculture in coastal North Carolina, and in the assessment of equity in coastal restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Click here for more information about my dissertation research and other projects.

Background

I conducted my undergraduate studies at Oregon State University in Biology with a Marine Biology focus and International Studies. Through the OSU Novak Lab, I gained field and lab research experience in marine ecology of rocky intertidal systems and developed an independent research project studying gooseneck barnacles. My undergraduate thesis led to a collaborative project between multiple stakeholders on the Oregon coast to inform a community supported fishery. I also helped lead OSU Divest, a student organized campaign demanding OSU remove their investments in fossil fuels and redistribute those funds in portfolios supporting environmental and social justice initiatives and renewable energy technology. OSU Divest was ultimately successful in its mission.

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Through working with stakeholders in my research and learning about intersectional environmental justice in Divest organizing, I became interested in more community and politically focused areas of research. In the fall of 2017, I began pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University under the mentorship of Dr. Grant Murray. Since then, I have developed my skills in multiple disciplenary branches of the environmental social sciences and built applied research with communities in North Carolina and Canada. I aim to develop environmentally sustainable and socially just coastal management through reflexive, relational, community driven research.

Fostering healthy relationships with the natural world is core to my life beyond academia and activism. I grew up privileged to always live nearby to water, mountains, and forests, and to always have family and mentors who valued enjoying and caring for these spaces. I am an avid runner, gardener, hiker, backpacker, and camper and I am lucky to have access to these ways of connecting with the world around me. In my work, I am motivated by a desire to shift our society's relationships to the environment from extractive practices to more sustainable relationships built upon care and reciprocity. I am also driven by the fear, grief, and anger that accompanies watching the effects of climate change destroy places I love as well as the lives of millions of people. I maintain hope through a vision of a more environmentally and socially just future for all people, and through the knowledge that this vision is shared by so many who are willing to study, work, and fight to build that future.
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