Holiday Updates + Progress on Fighting Marine Plastic

Happy Holidays! If you are reading this congratulations- you’ve almost made it through 2020! (knock on wood! keep on going, be healthy and try to be happy… you got 29 days left!). After this zoommester-I feel like myself and all of my students should win an award at this point, and looks like a lot of people feel that way based on this plaque I just found on Etsy:

In addition to surviving the 2020 zoommester- I recently blogged about how the last paper from my Delta Science Postdoctoral Research Fellowship was accepted to the Journal of Biological Control. Now it is hot off the press (Hopper et al. 2021) in all of its glory! You can access this free link and download the free scientific article for about 45 more days.. so have at it (and share it if you like it). I also want to thank California Sea Grant and the Delta Science Program for helping to fund this project and give a shout out to all of my coauthors from USDA and UC Davis. This includes my long-time undergraduate mentee (Somanette Rivas) who worked for me both when I was a grad student and when I was a postdoc, and is now at the USDA as a Research Technician! (I’m a proud mama bear… what can I say..)

Graphical Abstract from Hopper et al. 2021 (Biological Control)

If you want to learn even more about this postdoctoral research, check out my earlier blogs from 2016-2018.

Beach cleanup I organized in Oct. 2020: Photo by Maurice Roper

I also have some really exciting news related to my last blog post, where I discussed the huge problem with marine plastics and potential solutions, including beach cleanups. I promise I will soon post a Part II that details how we can all decrease our waste (including single use plastics) and how we can be more sustainable, even in these weird pandemic times. However, for now I’m excited to share that I will officially be part of the 2021 Scripps-Rady Ocean Plastic Pollution Challenge! I will be on the data mapping team working with other researchers, students and activists to help solve our ocean plastic pollution problem. This program is a 6-month program focused on identifying effective, evidence-based approaches to curb the flow of plastic into the ocean, with a specific focus on marine cultural preservation and marine conservation areas along California’s coast. 

Aside from these two bits of news, I just plan on using my teaching break to chip away at all of my Fusarium spore-suspension samples from my research in collaboration with Tom Dudley’s group at UCSB on an invasive fungus-beetle team that invaded Southern California in 2004, as well as taking a road trip to Sedona w/ my hubby, mom and pitbull rescue pup- Yesenia (lots of hiking planned), and then spending some time with my in-laws! Stay heathy and happy y’all!

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