Alissa Rubin

Mentor: Dr. Thomas Frazer
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"I got involved with research to explore my curiosity for natural sciences. I am especially interested in marine ecology because as a resident of South Florida I grew up snorkeling and diving. I have a passion for environmental research and education and I hope to pursue this as a career path."





Research Interests

  • Marine Ecology
  • Outdoor Education

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Dean's List


  • Intramural Frisbee
  • Marine Biology Club


  • Osenberg Marine Lab
  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center Education Docent

Hobbies and Interests

  • Camping
  • Biking
  • Playing the Ukulele
  • Snorkeling

Research Description

Barnacle Distribution on Sick and Injured Sea Turtles

The purpose of my project is to explore the correlation between barnacle distribution on sea turtles and sea turtle health. Barnacles have been cited as being a health indicator for sea turtles. I am analyzing photographs of barnacles on turtles (provided by Inwater Research Group) using ImageJ in order to evaluate spatial patterns of these epibionts. Using data on weight and carapace length, I can calculate the estimated health. I want to find out if clustering patterns of barnacle aggregation depend upon turtle health status. Knowing information about barnacle distribution could contribute to information on barnacles as a health indicator as well as hydrodynamic drag and weight distribution implications on the sea turtle's shell.