I’m Makenzie and I am a Masters of Professional Science graduate student at the University of Miami on the marine mammal science track under Dr. Jill Richardson. For my thesis project, I will be examining the overwintering of humpback whales off of the coast of Monterey Bay, CA. As an undergrad, I studied marine biology at Rollins College alongside being an NCAA athlete on the swim team. I previously interned at Mote Marine Lab in the Strandings Investigation Program, which solidified my passion to study anthropogenic effects on marine mammals in graduate school. The following summer I produced an independent project for the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research examining the northernmost range of the Northern North Carolina Estuarine System Stock (NNCESS) of bottlenose dolphins in the Roanoke Sound. Before returning to school, I served as an AmeriCorps research member with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, aiding in night surveys, dawn patrol, and educational seminars. I am particularly interested in population dynamics and migration patterns of marine mammals. I am very excited to be able to finally be working with Cascadia and studying baleen whales! After graduating, I hope to aid in conservation research and management of marine megafauna.