Lauren Bell, MSc, joined the UAS Fish Tech team this fall. An Alaskan born and raised, Bell grew up in Homer, where the landscapes she loved were always there, but across Kachemak Bay. “I’m enamored with Sitka, the ocean is rich with life,” she says. The areas she explored as a kid across the Bay are now right in her. Bell is interested in marine biology at a large scale—how organisms and landscapes at different levels interact. She explains, “What inspires me is a good story.” This passion for interdisciplinary and multi-level biology led her to study migrating Humboldt squid and more recently, food-web dynamics in the arctic. Currently, Bell is working on a coastal resilience project at the Sitka Sound Science Center, looking at relationships among abalone, kelp, and sea otter populations.
This fall, Bell is teaching Introduction to Marine Sciences, and next year, she will be teaching a seminar on Careers in Marine Science. “They’re survey courses,” Bell explains, “for anyone from high school students interested in marine biology, to Fish Tech students interested in getting a more well-rounded knowledge-base of the ocean system.” She’s enjoyed her fall here at UAS, “it feels comfortable, everyone is willing to help.” She looks forward to learning from and working with Fish Tech faculty, in addition to professors in other departments. “The small size of UAS promotes collaboration,” Bell says. When asked what she will bring to the table, Bell smiles and answers, “Some female presence in the department, in addition to a background in big ecosystems and interactions among organisms.”
Although she admits her work at the Sitka Sound Science Center and here at UAS keep her plenty busy, during lunch breaks you may find Bell coaching the Ocean Bowl team at Sitka High, or enjoying the beauty of Southeast by land and sea.