Catherine Lo is the first student at Florida Atlantic University to receive a Master of Science in Marine Science and Oceanography. The interdisciplinary program is jointly administered by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.
Catherine has been an exemplary graduate student during her time at Florida Atlantic University. She traveled from her home town of Portland, Oregon to Florida to work with Dr. Annie Page-Karjian in the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Medicine and Research Lab at FAU Harbor Branch.
As one of the first students in the newly established Marine Science and Oceanography Master’s program, she proactively sought out opportunities to help support and supplement her research, including applying for scholarships and attending and presenting at scientific conferences.
Scholarships and awards she has received included the FAU Kelly Family Foundation Scholarship, the FAU Graduate Diversity Fellowship, GPSA travel grants, the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Graduate Research Fellowship, FAU Graduate Student Thesis and Dissertation Scholarship, and the 2019 HBOI Student Volunteer Award.
Catherine’s graduate research project was focused on anthropogenic contaminants and pathology in stranded marine mammals. She showed great enthusiasm for taking on this expansive project, which included analyzing complex data sets and interpreting pathology findings, and is expected to result in a timely and impactful scientific publication. She has presented her research in scientific posters and oral presentations at the 6th Florida Marine Mammal Health Conference, the 49th Annual International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine Meeting and Conference, the 67th Annual International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association, the 2019 Indian River Lagoon Symposium, and the 10th Annual FAU Graduate and Professional Research Day. She also attended two workshops: the Conservation Medicine One Health Wildlife Diseases workshop at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Florida Keys Sea Turtle Health Workshop.
In addition to her professional development, she also volunteers with a number of local organizations including the FAU-HBOI Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, and the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.
After graduating, Catherine will join Inwater Research Group, based in Fort Pierce, Florida, as an Endangered Species Observer for a local dredging project.