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Jessica Luo

PhD Candidate

Jessica Luo is a Ph.D candidate in Dr. Cowen’s lab, using the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) to study the ecology of small gelatinous zooplankton with hopes of better understanding their role in marine ecosystems. She is interested in the community dynamics of gelatinous zooplankton, specifically jellyfish blooms, jellyfish as predators and prey, and diel vertical migration. Jessica has a particular affinity for siphonophores due to their predation potential on larval fish as well as their colonial body structure, but her research includes many taxa of ctenophores, hydromedusae, and pelagic tunicates as well as siphonophores. The study areas for her dissertation include the Southern California Bight and the Northern Gulf of Mexico (warm-temperate environments). Jessica moved to Miami in 2010 from Northern California, where she was working as the ocean education coordinator at Point Reyes National Seashore. She got her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Stanford University in 2007, studying the chemical oceanography of Red Sea copepods. In her free time, she enjoys landscape photography and running 10K’s and half marathons. Jessica is supported on the Robert C. Maytag Fellowship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. (CV pdf)