Curriculum Vitae

Lauren Eve Simonitis

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200 Seawolf Parkway | Galveston, TX 77554 | Phone: 305-321-1596| E-Mail: laureneve@tamu.edu

http://www.tamug.edu/marshall/People.html

 

Education

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, TX

August 2015- May 2021, Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology

GPA: 4.0

 

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, The University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

August 2011- May 2015, Bachelor of Science with General Honors

Double major in Marine Science and Biology, minor in Mathematics

 

Publications

Faulkner, P. C., Burleson, M., L.,Simonitis, L., Marshall, C., Hala, D., & Petersen, L. H. (2018). Effects of chronic exposure to 12% saltwater on the endocrine physiology of juvenile American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Journal of Experimental Biology, jeb-181172.

Presentations

Simonitis, L.,& Fieber, L., (2015).The response of Aplysia californica nervous cells to D-Aspartate.Poster session presented at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Undergraduate Thesis Symposium, Key Biscayne, FL

 

Simonitis, L., Shero, M., & Burns, J., (2013). Difference in muscle fiber types in harp and hooded seals of different age classes. Poster session and oral presentation at the University of Alaska, Anchorage NSF REU Research Symposium, Anchorage, AK

Research Experience

Graduate Research Assistant

Texas A&M University at Galveston

PI: Dr. Christopher Marshall, August 2015- Present

  • Conducting research on shark chemoreception and chemically mediated defenses

  • Supervising an undergraduate researcher in a shark reproductive biology study

 

UGalapagos Program

Study abroad program through the University of Miami

January- April 2014

  • Coursework in anthropology, ecology, biology, and geology on Isla Isabela in the Galapagos Islands

  • Participated in field-work intensive research projects

 

Undergraduate Researcher

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami

PI: Dr. Lynne Fieber, May 2012- May 2015

  • Conducted research on the nervous system of Aplysia californica

  • Studied cultured nerve cell growth in response neurotransmitter presence in the medium

  • Studied electrophysiological responses of neuron in situ to serotonin

 

Research Assistant

Florida Department of Environmental Protection & Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve

May- July 2014

  • Assisted with intercept surveys in boating marina for a colleague’s Professional Masters thesis

  • Translated survey materials into Spanish and conducted surveys with Spanish speakers

 

NSF REU Undergraduate Researcher 

University of Alaska, Anchorage

PI: Dr. Jennifer Burns, May-August 2013

  • Participant in University of Alaska, Anchorage’s NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program

  • Conducted physiological research on harp and hooded seal myosin heavy chains

 

Lab Aide

University of Miami Biology Department

PI: Dr. Isaac Skromne, January- May 2012

  • Carried out zebra fish husbandry procedures

  • Prepared brine shrimp and fed fish

  • Tested water quality and maintained tanks

Teaching Experience

Guest Lecturer

Natural History of Vertebrates, Texas A&M University at Galveston

August 2015- Present

  • Guest lectured when main instructor was unavailable

  • Lectured on the topics of evolutionary history of fish, evolutionary history of amphibians, and adaptations to life in water

Teaching Assistant

Natural History of Vertebrates, Texas A&M University at Galveston

August 2016- December 2016, August 2017- Present

  • Set up and guided student through weekly dissections and diversity labs

  • Wrote and graded lab practicals

Teaching Assistant

Marine Botany (Writing Intensive), Texas A&M University at Galveston

January 2017- Present

  • Arranged and guided students through weekly labs dealing with phytoplankton identification, chlorophyll analysis, and marsh fieldwork

  • Graded lab reports and worked with students to improve scientific writing techniques

 

Teaching Assistant and Community Assistant

University of Miami’s Summer Scholars Program

June- July 2015

  • Set up and assisted in conducting labs

  • Graded lab reports and worked with students on improving writing techniques

  • Served as a residence hall supervisor 

  • Planned educational and social programs during the three-week period including study sessions prior to exams

 

Marine Mammal Stranding Response and Conservation Educator

Marine Mammal Rescue Team at the University of Miami

January 2012- May 2015

  • Led marine mammal stranding response trainings

  • Educated club members at weekly meetings on marine mammal conservation, research, and ethics

 

Musical Theatre Instructor

DanceWorks of Miami

June 2011- July 2015

  • Introduced students to the basics of musical theatre including acting, singing, dancing, and improvisation

  • Assisted in directing and choreographing yearly one-act musical productions performed at the end of the five-week camp

Stranding Experience

Sea Turtle Nesting Patrol and Response

Texas A&M University at Galveston

January 2016- Present

  • Weekly UTV patrols looking for sea turtles and signs of nesting

  • Respond to stranded or nesting turtles by flipper and pit tagging them, taking blood and tissue samples, and transporting to rehab facilities if necessary

  • When nests are located, they are excavated and eggs are collected and transported

 

Marine Mammal Rescue Team

University of Miami

August 2011- May 2015

President (Fall 2014- Spring 2015), Vice President (Fall 2013), Treasurer (Spring 2012- Spring 2013)

  • Served as a liaison for the University of Miami to the South Florida Stranding Network

  • Responded to mass and single strandings

  • Performed necropsies with NOAA

  • Assisted in marine mammal rehabilitation with the Marine Mammal Conservancy

  • Coordinated field trips for club members to aquariums and rehab centers

  • Created budgets and lobbied for club funding with the University of Miami’s Student Funds Allocation Committee

Volunteer Experience

TAMUG Graduate Student Ambassadors

Texas A&M University at Galveston

Fall 2018- Present

  • Help plan campus events with Research and Graduate Studies Office

  • Volunteer to lead campus tours for prospective students

  • Represent the graduate student community 

  • Participate in panel discussion with undergraduates

Galveston Graduate Student Association

Texas A&M University at Galveston

Fall 2018- Present

  • Served as secretary for the organization

  • Organized monetary grants, social events, professional development events, volunteer opportunities, and fundraising for active members

Graduate Student Panel Member

Texas A&M University at Galveston

Spring 2018- Present

  • Sat on a panel to advise undergraduate club members about applying to graduate school

  • For organizations including Beta Beta Beta, LSAMP scholars, and NSF REU scholars

Galveston County Science Fair Judge

Galveston, TX

February 2016

  • Judged science projects of local middle and high school students

 

Ocean Awareness Week

University of Miami

January 2012- May 2015

Public Relations Chair (Fall 2014- Spring 2015), Treasury Chair (Fall 2013)

  • Educated the campus and local community on ocean conservation

  • Spoke at local high schools about ocean conservation

  • Planned educational events, volunteer opportunities, and fundraisers

 

Ocean Kids

University of Miami

April 2012, April 2014

  • Helped coordinate this event where elementary school students from local underprivileged schools are invited to the University of Miami to learn about marine science and conservation

  • Worked with fellow volunteers at the Marine Mammal Station to teach kids about marine mammal biology and strandings

  • Worked at the Aquatic Evolution Station to teach kids about how marine bird beaks evolved

Presentations

Simonitis, L., & Fieber, L., (2015). The response of Aplysia californica nervous cells to D-Aspartate. Poster session presented at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Undergraduate Thesis Symposium, Key Biscayne, FL

 

Simonitis, L., Shero, M., & Burns, J., (2013). Difference in muscle fiber types in harp and hooded seals of different age classes. Poster session and oral presentation at the University of Alaska, Anchorage NSF REU Research Symposium, Anchorage, AK

 

Memberships and Affiliations

American Elasmobranch Society

January 2017- Present

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

December 2017- Present

 

Rho Rho Rho Marine Honor Society

University of Miami

August 2011- May 2015

 

Grants and Awards

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship- Honorable Mention (Spring 2017)

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship Program

HSF Scholar (Fall 2018, Fall 2019)

American Elasmobranch Society

Young Professional Recruitment Fund Diversity Scholarship (Spring 2017)

 

Texas A&M University at Galveston

MARB Mini Grant (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Mooney Travel Grant (Fall 2016, 2018)

TAMUG MARB IDP Graduate Assistantship Award (Fall 2015- Summer 2016)

 

SeaSpace Inc.

SeaSpace MARS Graduate Award (Fall 2016- Spring 2018)

 

University of Miami

Dean’s List (Spring 2015, Spring 2012, Fall 2012)

University Scholarship (Fall 2011- Spring 2015)

Miami Grant (Fall 2011- Spring 2015)

Coral Grant (Fall 201- Spring 2012)

 

Beneath the Sea

Sea of Tomorrow Scholarship (Spring 2013)

 

Florida Bright Futures

Florida Academic Scholar (Fall 2011- Spring 2015)

Skills and Qualifications

Marine Mammal Stranding Response Training

Marine Mammal Conservancy

Marine Animal Rescue Society

 

Marine Mammal Necropsy Training

Marine Mammal Conservancy

Marine Animal Rescue Society

NOAA

 

Sea Turtle Nesting Response Training

Padre Island National Seashore, NPS

NOAA

Sea Turtle Handling Training

NOAA

Radiation Training

University of Alaska, Anchorage

 

Fluent in Spanish

 

PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA Certified

 

R, ArcGIS, SOFA Stats, SPSS

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

FIJI Image J

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator

References 

Dr. Christopher D. Marshall

Professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston

Email: marshalc@tamug.edu / Phone: (409) 740- 4884

 

Dr. Lene Petersen

Instructional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston

Email: petersel@tamug.edu / Phone: (409) 421- 4906

 

Dr. Gary Hitchcock

Associate Professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami

Email: ghitchcock@rsmas.miami.edu / Phone: (305) 421- 4926

 

Dr. Lynne Fieber

Associate Professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami

Email: lfieber@rsmas.miami.edu / Phone: (305) 421- 4906

 

Dr. Jennifer Burns

Professor at University of Alaska, Anchorage

Email: afhmb4@uaa.alaska.edu / Phone: (907) 786- 1527