Here is a short bio on Lionfish Research and Education Program intern Elizabeth Underwood:I’m originally from Atlanta, GA and my passion for marine biology research really took off when I was a senior in high school and conducted a year- long research project on the behavior of the whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. I graduated from Davidson College with a BS in Biology and also played Varsity soccer there. Davidson doesn’t offer a marine science program but they do have a great herpetology lab, so I spent the majority of my senior year conducting research on a variety of reptiles and amphibians. I focused primarily on the feeding ecology of diamondback terrapins living in the salt marshes of southeast United States and hope to have my research published in a journal in the next year.

To get my marine science research “fix” during college I participated in the School for Field Studies program on South Caicos the spring semester of my junior year, and had the time of my life. This is when my interest in lionfish research began and I haven’t looked back since. I spent a week this summer in Belize on a REEF lionfish collecting research trip, collecting hundreds of lionfish throughout the week and spending late nights on the back of the boat measuring, dissecting, and filleting the fish.

I loved every minute of it, so about three days later I headed to the Abacos for a few weeks to help out with more lionfish research! I’ve spent the past 4.5 months in Key Largo interning for the marine conservation non-profit REEF, working primarily in their lionfish program. I had an amazing experience there and found out about CEI through REEF and knew I had to apply to the lionfish program here. I plan on eventually going to graduate school to get my PhD in marine science. The lionfish invasion is an issue I’m very interested in, so I’m excited for this opportunity and can’t wait for what’s in store for me here! In my free time I like to run, play soccer, read, play the violin, dive, and do anything else that involves the ocean!!!