Alumni Tale: Elizabeth Siddon ’00

What did you study at UNH?

Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater Biology, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

What are some of your strongest memories of UNH?

When I think back on my time at UNH, I think about the friendships I formed (through housemates and classmates), the camaraderie built with lab partners and study partners, and the academic opportunities I had that shaped my life. I attended UNH largely because of course offerings at the Shoals Marine Lab, a place I am still very much connected to today.

How do you feel your time at UNH has had an impact on where you are today?

The summer after my freshman year at UNH (summer of 1997), I took Underwater Research at the Shoals Marine Lab…and the rest is history. I went on to pursue research opportunities in subtidal ecology including a 2001 Aquarius mission where I lived and worked underwater for 10 days as an ‘aquanaut’! My career path has taken me to Alaska, but I have remained connected to the Shoals Lab, both professionally and personally. I have worked or taught at the Shoals Marine Lab each summer since 2000. I also met my husband on the island that summer (conducting fieldwork for his Ph.D.) and we just helped launch a new course together in summer 2019.

Tell us about your career path to date… what have been some career milestones in your life?

Through my time at UNH and at the Shoals Marine Lab, I was introduced to a community of researchers that has led to great scientific (and adventurous) opportunities! With scientific diving training, I moved to Juneau, Alaska in 2002 to begin a Masters in Fisheries program at the University of Alaska where I studied nearshore kelp ecology. That cold water diving experience led to an opportunity to participate in NOAA’s Ocean Exploration “Hidden Ocean” as an under-ice diver in 2005. Diving in the Arctic sparked an interest in climate effects on fisheries and I began a Ph.D. in Fisheries 2008. I currently work for NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center where I connect ecosystem research in the Bering Sea to commercial fisheries management. I recently received the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) for “research of climate-mediated shifts in North Pacific Ocean fisheries, which has led to significant improvements in the ability to reliably forecast fisheries population dynamics.”