Martina Mascioni is a collaborating PhD student based out of Argentina at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Museum at the National University of La Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Her PhD thesis work currently focuses on “First research on the phytoplankton community of Andvord Bay (Antarctica). Composition and space-time dynamics” under her advisors’ supervision, Dr. Gastón Almandoz and Dr. Maria Vernet, in the Phycology Division.
She has expertise in Antarctic phytoplankton ecology and diatom taxonomy and is a teachers assistant in a subject called “Botanic Systematic I” (Botánica Sistemática I) a subject taken by third-year biology students learning about protist and fungi biology.
She recently received the IAATO Fellowship award to come work in the Vernet Lab in San Diego. She also published her first first-author paper.
Celeste grew up on the coast of central Chile, a country which more than 4,000 kilometers of linear coastline, and studied marine biology at the University of Valparaíso. She recently came to the United States to complete a Masters program in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego (USA). The time went by fast and she is now living back in Chile.
As a scientist in a family of artists, she feels in her heart and brain that education, outreach, citizen science, and research share space. She has participated in projects concerning all of these areas, with NGOs and universities, always committed to finding new ways to socialize scientific knowledge and to awaken interest in socio-environmental issues.
In the same vein, together with four young women, Celeste created a foundation for marine education called “Expedición Batiscafo,” and in 2020 she co-founded the Latin-American Marine Educators Network (RELATO).
She is currently working on a visual phytoplankton identification book, highlighting the taxa commonly found in the FjordPhyto citizen science collected samples from the Western Antarctic Peninsula, designed for non-scientific audiences.
We hope to share this book with you soon!
Allison Cusick is a graduate student in the Biological Oceanography PhD program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She has extensive experience in the lab and at sea.
Her first expedition to Antarctica occurred in 2013 where she lived aboard the U.S. Antarctic Programs’ icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer for 53-days tracing the fate of algal carbon export in the Ross Sea. Every year since 2017 she has traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula on various tour ships running FjordPhyto as Lecturer & Scientist. She has spent more than 195 days at sea in Antarctica (nearly 6.5 months in total).
Allison received her M.A.S. (2017) in Marine Biodiversity & Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and her B.S. (2006) in Biology with a minor in Earth and Space Sciences from the University of Washington. Link to Allison’s CV.
Fun Fact: Allison ran a marathon on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, dressed as a banana, the same day she boarded the Palmer icebreaker for a two-month expedition at sea.
Connect with us
Questions? Comments? We would love to hear from you! Follow us on Social Media @FjordPhyto on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or send us a message at our emails:
Allison Cusick: all178_at_ucsd.edu
Martina Mascioni: marmascioni_at_gmail.com
This project was supported in part by the National Science Foundation Public Participation in STEM Research (PPSR) extension to NSF award # PLR-1443705 (2017), by grant awards from Hurtigruten Foundation (2018), and from generous donors (2019). You can help us keep this project going through a financial contribution here – we appreciate all the support!