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Megan Dethier

Research areas

Megan Dethier is interested in marine ecology, especially the ecology of shorelines. Specific topics of interest are: plant-herbivore interactions, especially the roles of algal functional morphology, chemical defenses, and ecological refuges; the effects of intertidal stresses (e.g., desiccation) on energy allocation patterns in intertidal algae – how algae make “decisions” when stressed about how to allocate energy between growth, reproduction, and defense; the classification, long-term monitoring, and maintenance of biodiversity of intertidal habitats. She also is interested in invertebrate functional morphology, especially morphological features that confer resistance to predators.

Marine Biology Courses

FHL 432: Marine Invertebrate Zoology

Comparative morphology and biology of marine invertebrates with emphasis on field and laboratory studies. Representatives of all major and most minor phyla are collected, observed live, and studied in detail. Taken at Friday Harbor Laboratories. Opportunities to work with live plans and animals doing hands-on research of your own choosing.

In her own words

What were the key moments in your pathway to becoming a scientist and studying marine biology?

I spent childhood summers on the coast of Maine, forever cementing me to becoming a marine biologist. I had a fantastic biology teacher in high school. I did my first research as a junior in college during a quarter at the Bermuda Biological Station… but at that point I was already long committed to this career path.

What advice would you have for a high school student interested in marine biology?

Take math, get good with computers, and learn to write! None of those sound like ‘marine biology’, but they are all essential skills for really becoming a marine scientist.