Grace Walls is a first year PhD student in the St. FX and Memorial University joint program looking to unravel the mysteries of lobster foraging ecology. She completed her B.S. in Biology with minors in Natural Resource Conservation and Psychology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2013. From there she developed 6 different marine education programs for different NPOs and school systems of her native Cape Cod. Drawn to research, she went aboard the NOAAS Henry B. Bigelow which started off the adventure of hundreds of sea days spent on both fishing and research vessels around the globe. The majority of her time was spent with the Alaskan fishing fleets based the Aleutian Islands, sailing in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Migrating to the Baltic Sea for her masters in Biological Oceanography her thesis monitored the effects of changing environmental conditions on plastic ingestion and feeding ecology of benthopelagic fish. Now switching gears once again and settling benthically to work with invertebrates, Grace is excited to see where the next 4 years will bring her.
I graduated from Oregon State University with B.S. degrees in wildlife science and psychology, interested in animal cognition and using wildlife behaviors to help solve conservation problems. I’ve worked on projects with wild rodents, mule deer, elk, tree swallows, violet-green swallows, captive gray wolves, drafting a Conservation Efforts Assessment Plan, and investigating canine understanding of probability.
I have also worked for the US Forest Service as a summer wildlife technician for two seasons, USGS and BLM as a feral horse and burro research technician, and contracted with the Oregon Department of Forestry as a marbled murrelet surveyor. I was accepted into the StFX Biology MSc program, and will be investigating lobster bait preferences and behavior around food sources. After I complete my master’s degree, I hope to move on to a Ph.D. in wildlife behavior and conservation.
I graduated in 2010 from the Faculty of Applied Science at Umm Al Qura University, Saudi Arabia, where I earned a bachelor`s degree in biology. Throughout my studies, I consistently earned honours. I received a scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia, which fully sponsored me to pursue my studies in the field of biology. Getting such a scholarship is difficult, as they are highly competitive. All these accomplishments have encouraged me and motivated me to continue my studies at St. Francis Xavier University. Now, I am studying animal behavior and how Lymnaea Stagnalis finds food. After my masters degree, I hope to have a job in Saudi Arabia or continue on to a PhD.
Upon completing my BSc in Biology at StFX, I went through the typical post-graduate crisis where I didn’t know what to do with my life. Thankfully, Russ took pity on me and I joined the Wyeth lab, primarily researching the effect of UV light exposure on biofouling organisms. I have also been involved with other projects including sea slug behaviour, crow behaviour, antifouling abilities of trout netting, and environmental sequencing of biofilm. I was accepted into the biology MSc program at StFX and will be looking at the effects of contaminants on lobster. I’m excited to be working with my co-supervisors, Russell Wyeth and Jim Williams, over the next 2 years.
Ella has been supported by the Province of Nova Scotia boat harbour remediation project and Nova Scotia Fisheries & Aquaculture