Megan Morikawa is a PhD candidate with Steve Palumbi at Stanford Universitys Hopkins Marine Station. Shes passionate about innovative solutions for conserving and protecting our oceans and is pursuing this passion through her dissertation work at Stanford. Specifically, she is testing technology and techniques that can help managers find tough coral that can survive in warming ocean waters. Using tools that range from genomic assays to simple ice-chest stress tanks, Megan designed her dissertation to understand how multiple species of coral respond to thermal stress, to detect signatures of past environments through contemporary gene expression profiles, and to further validate a simple and repeatable method for finding tough coral across the Pacific. In addition, shes testing whether tough coral can be prioritized in reef restoration efforts to build reefs of the future, more likely to withstand climate change while still maintaining important levels of biologic diversity. Megan hopes her dissertation research allows her to continue work on innovative solutions for climate change effects in the oceans.
Megan also serves as the Hopkins MARINE liaison, helping to foster a new generation of ocean leaders through workshops designed to enhance the graduate career. Megan received her BS, summa cum laude, from Duke University where she was a Robertson and Udall scholar.