Astarte Brown | Undergraduate Student Researcher

My love for marine mammals and interest in conservation research has been a guiding force throughout my time at UC Santa Cruz. I first got involved in research in the summer of 2021 when I participated in an internship with the Acoustical Society of America studying the acoustic behavior of humpback whales in response to vessel noise. This study sparked my desire to conduct marine mammal research and, since this internship, I have been participating in fieldwork and research with northern elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park. These experiences have contributed to my desire to study how anthropogenic disturbances, especially noise, influence marine mammal behavior, distribution, and survivorship. Currently, my research in the Bio-Telemetry lab involves characterizing the acoustic soundscape in the Antarctic and working to describe the ambient noise levels in this area. Funding for my work in the lab is possible with support from the STEM Diversity CAMP scholarship.

In addition to my passion for research, as a mixed-race African American woman and re-entry student, I am dedicated to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. I believe that historically marginalized students should not feel excluded from the STEM field, but should instead be celebrated for their differences and for overcoming barriers. As an undergraduate student, I am working to support this mission by mentoring underrepresented students in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department and helping them to discover their true potential in this field.