HALEY ELIZABETH PLAAS
Ph.D. Environmental Science and Engineering, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2023); Committee: Dr. Hans Paerl (major advisor), Dr. Nathan Hall, Dr. Jill Stewart, Dr. Jason Surratt, and Dr. William Vizuete; Research Focus: Investigating human exposures to cyanotoxins
B.S. Biology and Marine Science, University of Miami, Florida, 2019 with James Cook University, Australia, Study Abroad Fall 2017; Committee: Dr. Kimberly Popendorf (major advisor), Dr. Larry Brand, and Dr. Cassandra Gaston; Honors Thesis: The Influence of Temperature on Microcystin Concentration in Bubble-Generated Lake Spray Aerosols
- 2020-present Graduate Research Fellow, National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship Program
- 2019- 2020 Graduate Teaching Fellow, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill
- 2019-2019 Research Assistant, Institute of Marine Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill
- 2018-2019 Student Laboratory Assistant, Rosenstiel School of Marine Science, University of Miami
Grants, Honors, & Awards
- National Science Foundation (NSF): Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP), 2020-2023
- APNEP – NC Sea Grant: Graduate Fellowship in Estuarine Research, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership – North Carolina Sea Grant, 2020
- American Chemical Society, 2020-
- North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute, 2019-
- American Association for Aerosols Research, 2019-
- Gillings Merit Award, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2019
- Robert A. Mah and Adeline Yen Mah Student Support Endowment Fund, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2019
- Alan and Linda Rimer Scholarship in Environmental Science, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2019
- B.B. Parker Fellowship, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2019
- Edward Kuenzler Endowed Scholarship in Field Ecology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2019
- B.S. degree with honors, 2019
- President’s Merit Scholarship, University of Miami, 2015-2019
- “The Influence of Temperature on Microcystin Concentration in Bubble-Generated Lake Spray Aerosols”, American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Conference, Student Poster Session, Portland, Oregon, 2019
- “The Influence of Temperature on Microcystin Concentration in Bubble-Generated Lake Spray Aerosols”, University of Miami Undergraduate Research Symposium, Coral Gables, Florida, 2019
- MASC 055: Change in the Coastal Ocean, guest lecturer, 2020
- Lunchtime Discovery Series, “Are Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms Affecting the Air We Breathe?”, North Carolina Office of Environmental Education, Raleigh, NC, 2019
- Group on Atmospheric Science and Pollution (GASP) Seminar, “Asphyxiation by algae: are toxic cyanobacterial blooms affecting the air we breathe?”, Environmental Science and Engineering GASP seminar series, 2019
- World Oceans Day, Guest Speaker and Panelist, Summit Betchel Reserve, Boy Scouts of America 24th World Scout Jamboree, 2019
- TEDx Talk, “An Individual’s Solution to Plastic Pollution”, Keynote Speaker, TEDxUMiami, Coral Gables, Florida, 2019
- Department of Marine Sciences –Institute of Marine Sciences, Morehead City, NC, Research Assistant, May-August 2019; Field work conducted with Dr. Hans Paerl. Assisted with nutrient bioassays to determine nutrient limitations in eutrophic systems including Lake Erie, OH and the Neuse River, NC. Processed, extracted and prepared water samples for analysis. Assisted with peer journal reviews.
- Department of Ocean Sciences- Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL, Undergraduate Research Assistant, October 2018-May 2019; Honors thesis conducted with Dr. Kimberly Popendorf and Dr. Cassandra Gaston regarding bubble-generated cyanotoxin aerosols. Performed weekly enzyme bioassays (ELISA kits) to quantify BMAA and microcystin in algal samples collected from Lake Okeechobee.
- Department of Marine Biology & Ecology – Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Student Laboratory Assistant, August 2018-May 2019; Monitored harmful algal blooms in South Florida and processed samples for chlorophyll with Dr. Larry Brand. Collected aerosol and water samples in the field. Gained research cruise experience.
- Environmental Health Laboratory- Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Sarasota, FL, Environmental Health Intern, May-August 2018; Investigated mitigation techniques on the Florida red tide (K. brevis) via biofiltration and studied the impact of storm winds on brevetoxin transport and aerosolization with Dr. Tracy Fanara. Assisted in public outreach efforts at the Mote Aquarium and fielded messages from the public regarding red tide bloom events.
- Department of Marine Biology & Ecology – Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, Undergraduate Research Assistant, April 2017-October 2018; Managed coral husbandry and aquarium operations. Conducted research on antibiotic exposure and wound healing in stony coral, P. damicornis, with Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles. Composed, filmed, and edited a promotional film for usage on the lab website and in future grant applications.
- Department of Environmental Science & Engineering- Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, Graduate Teaching Fellow- August 2019-May 2020; Assisted in the classroom of professor Dr. Louise Ball for Environmental Health (ENVR600). Graded assignments and exams, kept records, mentored students, and guest lectured.
- In Pursuit: UNC Research- Edenton, NC, July 2019, Interviewed for the story, “Algal Blooms Pose Possible Respiratory Threat”, link to: https://research.unc.edu/2020/07/29/algal-blooms-pose-possible-respiratory-threat/
- Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) Coast- Morehead City, NC, October 2019-present; Logistics Coordinator for the 2020 SciREN Coast event. Managed the social media campaigns, coordinated volunteers, elicited and organized donations from local companies.
- Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) Triangle- Raleigh, NC, August 2019; Designed a scientific lab experiment and supplementary lesson: “Crazy Cyanobacteria! Algae and Water Quality in NC” for K-12 classrooms, adhering to state and national educational standards. Collaborated with educators regarding science curriculum development. Visited local middle schools as a visiting scientist and guest Science Fair judge.
- Drive Away Waste– Durham, NH, June 2018- August 2019; Co-founder of a zero waste initiative to reduce the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems through public outreach. Composed proposals, budgets, and grant submissions in addition to generating community lesson plans.
- Ocean Kids– Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, January 2016- March 2019; Co-chair of the STEM educative field trip event, Ocean Kids, for over 2000 underprivileged Miami-Dade elementary students over the course of four years. Coordinated student volunteers and planned annual events.
- Cape Ann Whale Watch– Gloucester, MA, May-July 2016; Educated the public about environmental and marine conservation as a field research naturalist and environmental educator. Surveyed public response to the outreach program and spearheaded a promotional video for the program.
Technical Skills & Proficiencies
- FinalCut ProX (film editing software)
- Advanced Open Water Dive certification + Nitrox
- Languages spoken: English (fluent), Spanish (conversational)
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, 4600 Rickenbacker Cswy. Miami, FL 33149,
- Dr. Larry Brand +1 (305) 421-4138 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Cassandra Gaston +1 (305) 421-4979 email@example.com
- Dr. Kimberly Popendorf +1 (305) 421-4328 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles +1 (305) 421-4000 email@example.com
Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
- Dr. Tracy Fanara+1 (941) 302-2046 firstname.lastname@example.org
UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, 3431 Arendell St, Morehead City, NC 28557
- Dr. Hans Paerl +1 (252) 726-6841 (ext:133) email@example.com
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, 135 Dauer Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
- Dr. Louise Ball +1 (919) 966-7306 firstname.lastname@example.org