Meet the Co-Chairs


Hannah Collins
University of Connecticut
[email protected]

Hi! I am a Masters student at the University of Connecticut Avery Point, working with Dr. Evan Ward. I received my B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Gettysburg College, before spending three years working for the U.S Geological Survey in Pennsylvania and I also worked for a salmon hatchery in remote Alaska. My research investigates microplastics and their effects on the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). Specifically, I’m investigating whether exposure to microfibers affects the gut microbiome or tissue structure and functionality of the blue mussel. In my spare time I enjoy finding obscure craft beers, a good coffee, and all things gym-related. If you ever find yourself in Connecticut be sure to ask me about the best hot spots!  


Alexandria Marquardt
Virginia Institute of Marine Science

[email protected]

Alex is a PhD student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in Dr. Roger Mann’s lab. Her research focuses on eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay. She received her M.S. in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, where she studied the reproductive cycle, growth, and population status of Pismo clams (Tivela stultorum) in California. In the years prior to graduate school, Alex worked as a technician and biologist for several state agencies on a diverse variety of fisheries, wildlife, and marine projects. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Alex is a lover of black coffee, tasty beer, cozy sweaters, and the outdoors.