Leah is a native Floridian who grew up in Orlando and frequently visited beaches on the east and west coast of Florida including Sanibel Island. Enjoying the natural beauty of Florida’s coastal ecosystems inspired her to become a marine scientist. She completed her undergraduate graduate degree at the University of Central Florida and in 2013 she did an internship with the SCCF marine laboratory where she studied how fragmented algae responded to nutrient enrichment and monitored the relationship between seagrass and macroalgae around Sanibel Island.
After her internship at SCCF, Leah pursued her master’s degree at California State University, Northridge where she researched the effects of nutrient enrichment and ocean acidification on the macroalgal species Ulva. While in California, Leah became an active SCUBA diver and got her advanced open water and American Academy of Underwater Sciences diving certifications. Leah is interested in studying how climate change and nutrient enrichment affect the physiology and ecology of marine primary producers including macroalgae, microalgae, seagrass, and harmful algal species. As a research associate at the SCCF marine lab, she analyzes seawater samples for nutrients and supports research on harmful algal blooms, seagrass, and water quality.