Katie Lubarsky

Masters Student / Fish Surveyor


Katie is a second-year Masters student from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She hails from Southern California, where she began SCUBA diving at a young age. She earned a B.S. in Marine Biology from UCLA, where she had the opportunity to study herbivore-algal dynamics on the reefs of St. John, USVI and Moorea, French Polynesia. After graduating, she traveled to coastal Ecuador to study river water quality and rural sustainability, followed by a year in the Dominican Republic to work on coral restoration and community-based conservation initiatives with the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation. She is currently studying the role of ground water-derived nutrients on the calcification-bioerosion balance on nearshore reefs.

Katie's goal as a scientist is to understand the ecological and physiological processes affecting coral reef organisms in order to develop and advocate appropriate management and conservation solutions. She has particular interest in how humans affect coral reefs, both negatively and positively, at both the land-sea interface and on offshore reefs. By participating in the Living Oceans Foundation's Global Reef Expedition, Katie hopes to collect data that will shed insight on the current state of reefs in the Coral Sea, and the effect of management currently implemented in the area. It is her hope that the data collected during this mission will serve to document the attributes of reefs in various stages of health, and that this information can be used to understand how to further protect reefs in this area.

During the expedition, Katie will be performing fish surveys. She will record the species and abundance of reef fish in areas with varying levels of management and protection to help determine the consequences of these activities on fish populations.