Discussion on diversity from field samples to the workplace – Dr. Tiara Moore talks eDNA and Black In Marine Science | Rising Sea Voices

November 23, 2021

Discussion on diversity from field samples to the workplace.

Join Rising Sea Voices’ host Felicia Olmeta-Schult and Dr. Tiara Moore, environmental ecologist and postdoctoral researcher at The Nature Conservancy, to learn more about environmental DNA (eDNA) and the struggles of being a young black woman in marine science. In this episode, the upbeat Tiara explains falling in love with the ocean and its inhabitants thanks to an undergraduate course involving a trip to Costa Rica. She never looked back since, and her studies and research led her to scuba-dive in Indonesia and French Polynesia. Her former Ph.D. research (marine) and current post-doctoral work (terrestrial) both use eDNA to assess the biodiversity of entire ecosystems that will help guiding restoration efforts. Tiara is not only an accomplished scientist but also a fierce and inspiring advocate for a safe and inclusive workplace for all Black people and women of color. She is the founder of A WOC SPACE and Black In Marine Science (BIMS). The second BIMS Week is around the corner (Nov. 28 – Dec. 4) and you won’t want to miss it!

We hope you will enjoy this episode and join us monthly to discover new guests and their work! In the meantime, look below for Tiara’s bio and contact information and links to events and organizations she mentioned in this episode.

Portrait of a smiling young Black woman with short black curly hair. She wears eyeglasses, hoop earrings, and a white lab coat. Photo credit: Courtney Baxter. Originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, Dr. Tiara Moore completed her B.S. in Biology in 2011 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She received her M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science in 2013 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Dr. Moore earned her PhD in Biology from UCLA, where she conducted research in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, Carpinteria Salt Marsh, and Upper Newport Bay. In Mo’orea, she observed the effects sedimentation and nutrient pollution have on the proliferation of coral reef macroalgae. Dr. Moore is currently a postdoctoral scholar at The Nature Conservancy where she uses environmental DNA (eDNA) to conduct community biodiversity assessments. Inside and outside of the lab, Dr. Moore hopes her research in biodiversity will translate to increasing the overall diversity in science. She dedicates her time to mentoring minority women in the lab and in after school programs. She is also the founder of A WOC SPACE and Black In Marine Science and co-host with Amanda Wise the “We Danglin” (real talk by real chicks) podcast. Check out Tiara’s website to learn more about her and her work, and you can contact by email at ceo@bims.org or Twitter @curly_scientist. Do not miss Black In Marine Science (BIMS) Week Nov. 29 - Dec. 5, 2021 (see image below)! Check out their website for more information. They also have BIMS Dives the last Friday of the month on their YouTube channel.

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Felicia Olmeta-Schult

Felicia Olmeta-Schult is the 2021 Oregon Sea Grant Resilience Fellow and works to increase the resilience of Oregon communities to the impacts of climate change and coastal natural hazards. She is also ASPN University Project Lead. Felicia has a B.S. in Oceanography from Hawaii Pacific University, a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University. Her dissertation investigated the North Coast of California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative by studying how stakeholders interacted and were involved during the marine protected area (MPA) planning process and how they perceived socio-economic and ecological effects of MPAs. She was a 2018-19 Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington Department of Ecology Shorelands & Environmental Assistance Program where she participated in the Washington Coastal Resilience Project. She lives in the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys the outdoors hiking and playing in rivers and the ocean. She loves traveling, especially back home to Corsica, a French Mediterranean island, so she can spend time with her family and swim in the warm sea (and not in the frigid waters of the North Pacific Ocean). You can contact her at felicia@coastalnewstoday.com and follow her on Twitter @FolmetaSchult and on LinkedIn.