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Margaret Daly

RELP Cohort: 2019
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
School: Engineering

Margaret Daly is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology Program in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on the physical oceanography and flow in kelp forests and the impact on benthic species, particularly abalone. Her field work is primarily on Isla Natividad, Baja California and in Monterey. Ecologically significant stressors such as heat waves and hypoxia, are mitigated by kelp forests. The structural complexity of kelp forests combined with coastline curvature generate naturally occurring refuges for abalone. Margaret hopes to expand her research to other ecosystems and benthic fauna, and wants her research to inform local communities and policy makers to strategically choose marine protected areas.

She is a proud alumna of Cornell University and received a B.S. in Science of Earth Systems concentrating in Ocean Sciences and a minor in Environmental Engineering. She worked on research with Professor Bruce Monger, exploring the dynamics of mesoscale eddies, transport of chlorophyll, and programming in Interactive Data Language (IDL). Recognized for her passion to pursue research, Margaret was inducted as a Rawlings Presidential Research Scholar, a title and scholarship held by less than 2% of Cornell University students.

Margaret was an REU Fellow at the Duke Marine Lab and studied the highly endangered North Atlantic right whales (Eubaleana glacialis) and their migration patterns off Cape Hatteras, NC using passive acoustic monitoring. The results of this research helped to close the knowledge gap concerning right whale migration patterns. Combined with other concurrent studies along the eastern seaboard, right whale migration is now better understood. Because of these findings, NOAA was able to expand the designation of critical habitat for right whales in 2016.

In addition to passionately pursuing research, Margaret is also the co-president of Stanford Women in Fluid Dynamics (SWiFD), coordinates the Environmental Fluid Mechanics seminars, and mentors undergraduate students.