STRI Intern

Hello! I am thrilled to be returning to Panama to work with the O’Dea lab. I am studying fish movement and invasion in the Panama Canal using otolith geochemistry. I am interested in using stable isotopes to better understand the movement of marine fishes into the freshwater Lake Gatun. I hope to be able to use my research to inform fisheries conservation plans and gain a better understanding of the processes underlying natural phenomena.

I graduated from Washington State University in May 2022 with a BSc in Biology and a minor in Environmental Sciences. I will be attending University of California Santa Cruz in Fall 2023 to begin my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Favorite organisms: Arctic Grayling Trout, Mobular Ray.

Kyawt Aye

STRI Fellow

I am a PhD student in palaeoceanography and palaeoecology at the University of Hong Kong. I work with microscopic fossils called ostracods to understand how tropical shallow-marine biodiversity in the Caribbean evolved within the last 10 million years. Having an understanding of how tropical marine ecosystems behaved in the past can help acknowledge the possible tipping point of future tropical diversity crises against a changing climate. During my fellowship at the O’Dea lab, I will make progress in processing the Panama Palaeontology Project samples and undertake fieldwork in different areas of Panama. Using these samples, I hope to explore the patterns of origination, extinction, diversity, and faunal change of ostracods within the environmental record of the Isthmus of Panama.

Elizabeth wallace


Hello! In the O’Dea Lab, I will be working on assessing ontogenetic diet changes in Megalodon sharks. To do this, I will be working with postdoc Jess Lueders-Dumont to measure nitrogen isotopes in fossil Megalodon teeth from sharks of different life stages in order to determine if the trophic level of these sharks changed throughout their lifetime. In general, some of my favorite science topics include stable isotopes, gelatinous zooplankton, and baby marine animals.

Teresa Peil

STRI Intern

I am currently in my Master for marine biology at the University of Rostock. As part of my master’s thesis I got the opportunity to do an internship at STRI in the O’Dea lab. I will do my master’s thesis in the Eco-Evolutionary Interactions Group at the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen for which I will do the fieldwork in Panama.  I will collect clams at both sides of the Panama Isthmus to investigate the evolution of symbiotic interactions between Microbes and Lucinid clams. The main goal will be the development of these lucinid clam shells as a marker for microbial nitrogen fixation of symbionts. For further studies I will also collect and look into existing fossil records to get a grasp of the changes before, during and after the closure of the Isthmus. I am very interested in ecological evolutionary processes and I love searching for fossils.