Welome Morgan Kelly - new SE

Submitted by editor on 11 April 2017.

We have the great pleasure to welcome Morgan Kelly, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, to our Editroial Board. Get to know her in the interview below:

What's you main research focus at the moment?

My research group uses fieldwork, experimental evolution and genomic techniques to test the physiological and genetic basis for adaptation to abiotic stress in marine invertebrates, with the goal of understanding how ecologically and economically important species will respond to ocean change.  We currently work on oysters, cold water corals, and copepods.

Can you describe your research career? 

I received a masters degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, with Dr. Judith Rhymer, studying the population genetics and phylogeography of fresh water mussels.  I then received a PhD in Population Biology from the University of California, Davis, with Dr. Eric Sanford, and Dr. Richard Grosberg, where I studied local adaptation in copepods, and sexual selection in barnacles.  I went on to do a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Gretchen Hofmann, at University of California, Santa Barbara, where I studied adaptation to ocean acidification conditions in sea urchins.  I have been an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University since 2014.

How come that you became a scientist in ecology? 

I am fascinated by the intersection between evolution and ecology.  Charles Lyell, a geologist who had a tremendous influence on Darwin, argued that 'the present is the key to the past.'  In other words, the forces acting in the present day, have also done so in the past, and we can study processes like natural selection in contemporary populations (on ecological time scales), to gain insight into how these processes have shaped life on earth over millions of years.

What do you do when you're not working?

I have two kids, ages 4 and 7.  When I'm not working, my family and I explore the outdoors by hiking, camping, canoeing and spending time at the beach.