How strange to call this planet 'Earth' when quite clearly it is ocean. Arthur C. Clarke

Curriculum Vitae

Gina Marie Contolini
Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz
Coastal Biology Building
Room 160
130 McAllister Way
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


University of California at Santa Cruz. Sep 2013–present, Santa Cruz, CA
·      Project title: Local Adaptation and Species Interactions in a Changing Climate
·      Degree Sought: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology PhD
·      Advisors: Drs. Eric Palkovacs and Peter Raimondi

University of Washington. Friday Harbor, WA
·      Special Topics in Advanced Ecology and Biomechanics: Ocean Acidification. Jul–Aug 2015
·      Participate in workshops and discussion on key issues in OA
·      Learn best practices for methods in OA experiments
·      Pelagic Ecosystem Function Research Apprenticeship. Sep–Dec 2012
·      Post-baccalaureate research experience
·      Completed a 10-week research project on pelagic plankton dynamics

Gonzaga University. Aug 2008–May 2012, Spokane, WA
·      Major: Biology BS with research concentration Summa Cum Laude
·      Minor: Spanish Language and Literature


·      Conchologists of America Academic Grant. $1,328.19 (2017)
·      Graduate Student Association Travel Grant. $237 (2017)
·      Future Leaders in Coastal Science Award. $20,000 (2016)
·      Katrina Martens (Cramer Fish Sciences) Student Poster Award. $200 (2015)
·      Graduate Student Association Travel Grant. $275 (2015)
·      Friends of the Long Marine Lab Student Research and Education Award. $850 (2014)
·      Myers Ocean Trust Research Grant. $1000 (2014)
·      NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention. (2014)
·      Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Research Experience in the Tropics Internship. $2400 (2013)
·      Gonzaga University Summa Cum Laude. (2012)
·      Gonzaga Alumni Scholarship. $5,000 (2010–2011)
·      NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship. $16,000 (2010)
·      Gonzaga University Trustee Scholarship. $48,000 (2008–2012)


·      Collin, R., K. Kerr, G. Contolini, I. Ochoa. 2017. Reproductive cycles in tropical intertidal gastropods are timed around tidal amplitude cycles. Ecology and Evolution 7(15):5977–5991.
·      Palkovacs, E., M. Moritsch, G. Contolini, and F. Pelletier. 2018. Ecology of harvest-driven trait change and implications for ecosystem management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16(1):20–28.


·      Western Society of Naturalists. Pasadena, CA. Poster title: You Cant Drill Just Anywhere: Snail Driling Depends on pH and Origin (2017)
·      Ecological Society of America. Portland, OR. Talk Title: What Drives Drilling? Patterns of Prey Selectivity Among Populations of Predatory Snails (2017)
·      Western Society of Malacologists. Los Angeles, LA. Talk Title: What drives drilling? Patterns of prey selectivity among populations of predatory snails (2017)
·      Western Society of Naturalists. Monterey, CA. Poster title: Exploring Patterns of Predation in Coastal Shell drilling Molluscs. (2016)
·      Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education (MARINE) Oceans Colloquium. Moss Landing, CA. Demonstration title: How to Test Ocean Acidification. (2016)
·      Western Division American Fisheries Society. Reno, NV. Poster title: Adaptation in Acid: Predation in an Acidifying Ocean (2016)
·      Western Society of Naturalists. Sacramento, CA. Talk title: Evolution in Acid: Local Adaptation in a Shell-drilling Predator (2015)
·      American Fisheries Society California-Nevada Chapter. Santa Cruz, CA. Poster title: Ecology and Evolution in Acid: Influences on an Intertidal Interaction (2015)
·      Western Society of Malacologists. Fullerton, CA. Poster title: Evolution in Acid: Local Adaptation in a Shell-Drilling Predator (2015)

Mentorship and Outreach

Mentor for undergraduate research
·      Mentored over a dozen undergraduates in research skills
·      Over half a dozen have earned research credits for their work
·      Received funding for two undergraduate internships
·      Attended a conference with undergraduate interns presenting their work

Club Familiar de Ciencias Santa Cruz
·      Helped form a club through Holy Cross Parish to help Latino families connect with science
·      Planned family-friendly events about kelp forest research, intertidal life and trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Webmaster of Santa Cruz–Monterey Bay Area Subunit of the American Fisheries Society
Sep 2015 – Sep 2016
·      Helped create the subunit which aims to foster community among local fisheries scientists
·      Maintained SCMBAS webpage, facebook page, and create subunit logo and promotional items

Science Internship Program (SIP) Research Mentor
Summers 2015 and 2016
·      Mentor high school students for a 10-week research internship
·      Advise and train them in all steps of the research process, including a final seminar presentation

Volunteer Docent 
Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz, CA
Jan 2014–June 2017
·      Volunteered over 400 hours
·      Participated in 100 hours of training in local marine ecology and public teaching skills
·      Discuss current environmental issues and research exhibits with the public 8 hours a month
·      Lead biweekly tours interpreting marine ecosystems and current research at UCSC's marine science campus

Certifications and skills

·      Statistical programing and modeling in R and JMP (intermediate)
·      Proficient in Microsoft Office and Google drive in Mac and Windows
·      PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Nitrox, and Rescue Diver
·      Certified in delivery of emergency oxygen for diving injuries (March 2018)
·      Kayak guide and naturalist (May 2013 to 2015)

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Courses
UC Santa Cruz, CA
·      Courses: Community Ecology, Ecology, Marine Conservation Biology (2 quarters), Invertebrate Zoology (4 quarters), Evolution, Marine Botany (2 quarters)
·      Tutor in Biology Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA Sep–Dec 2010
·      Teaching Assistant for Intro to Ecology Lab Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA Jan–May 2010

Independent Research Projects

Anemones on Acid: Effects of Ocean Acidification on Carbonic Anhydrase Activity and Algal Density in Anthopleura elegantissima
University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs, Friday Harbor, WA. Jul–Aug 2015
·      Tested the effects of seawater acidity on algal symbionts in anemones. Part of a 5-week course on current issues and methods in ocean acidification.

Reproductive Timing and Seasonality of Natica Moon Snails
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama. Jan–Apr 2013
·      Investigated abundance and hatching of moon snail egg collars in relationship to tidal cycles
·      Paper published in Ecology and Evolution

Trophic Dynamics in the San Juan Channel during Fall 2012
University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs, Friday Harbor, WA. Jul–Aug 2015
·      Compared changes in diatom abundances, copepod abundance, copepod lipid stores, and feeding preferences of pelagic fish

Female Effects on Offspring Quality in Summer Flounder
NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Sandy Hook, NJ. May–Aug 2011
·      Investigated the relationship between females and the quality of their offspring to understand better the potential effects of size-based fisheries laws in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

Diagnosis and Management of the Blue Crab Fishery in Bahía Magdalena, BCS, Mexico
The School for Field Studies, Puerto San Carlos, Mexico. Feb–Apr 2011
·      Examined effectiveness of trap regulations, interviewed local fishermen about fishing practices, and diagnosed problems causing decreased recruitment in the blue crab fishery

Variation in Fiddler Crab Claw Strength
Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. May 2010–May 2012
·      Analyzed correlations between major cheliped strength and morphology in male fiddler crabs and compared variation between twelve species


Dr. Eric Palkovacs
Dr. Pete Raimondi 

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