Samantha M. Clements

Benthic Surveyor / Scientific Diver


Samantha received her B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution from the University of California, San Diego in 2012, and she is now a Master's student in Biology at UCSD conducting research in Dr. Jennifer Smith's lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She studies trophic interactions in coral reef communities and has conducted research in the Main Hawaiian Islands as part of her master's thesis. Her thesis focuses on the diets of common surgeonfish species in Maui, HI and examines both top-down and bottom-up drivers of the fulfillment of trophic niches by these species. She is primarily interested in the mediation of coral / algal competition by herbivorous fishes on coral reefs.

Samantha fell in love with the ocean at a very young age. Growing up in Southern California helped that love to grow and blossom into a passion for ocean conservation. She believes that it is extremely important to learn about the world and strive to protect the unique organisms that live here with what skills we have. As she puts it, "We still have so much to learn from the creatures in this ever-changing world we live in, and if we don't take the chance to learn all we can now and preserve them into the future, we may not have another chance." Samantha is particularly excited to share her experience in scientific diving and coral reef ecology to explore and learn about anthropogenic impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. In the future, she hopes to use what she gains from this experience to inspire others to protect our oceans for future generations.

During the expedition, Samantha will be conducting benthic surveys and identifying common corals, algae, and invertebrates that inhabit coral reefs.