Natalia Portales

Natalia Portales

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Natalia studied environmental biology and zoology with a minor in Spanish from Lyman Briggs College and the Honors College as an undergraduate research assistant working in the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability advised by Jianguo "Jack" Liu and under the guidance of graduate student Sydney Waloven and postdoctoral researcher Kelly Kaspar and graduate student Sydney Waloven. She graduated in Spring 2024.

She served as the outreach chair on the executive leadership board of the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club connecting the club with the local community and leading outreach and education events. 

Her research focuses on the ecology of arctic marine mammals and human-wildlife interactions in the Pacific Arctic Region as part of the NSF-funded Arctic Telecoupling Project. Her work involved the collation of marine mammal data from public data sources and the creation of a synthesized dataset of marine mammal occurrences over time in the Pacific Arctic. During her last semester at MSU, she worked on publishing this dataset and drafting a data paper as a result of her work.

She will take a gap year to apply for grad school with the hopes of starting a master's in fall 2025. She will have a temporary position at the Schoodic Institute in Maine, a non-profit organization that partners with Acadia National Park in science and education. They support scientific research and citizen science programs. She will be an ecology field technician at the Schoodic Institute and will work on multiple projects focused on intertidal research, biodiversity monitoring, and engaging citizen scientists in research and monitoring. 


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