My research interests include, but are not limited to:
- Top- down (predation, high intensity sunlight) and bottom-up (iron limitation) regulation of phytoplankton community structure and distribution in the Gulf of Alaska
- Predator-prey interactions of marine protists (e.g.; cell-cell signaling)
- Cross-cultural examination of knowledge and acceptance of the Theory of Evolution
Educational & Professional Experience
During my time at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, I:
- Investigated the knowledge and acceptance of The Theory of Evolution among Galápagos teachers and National Park Guides to identify deficiencies in science communication pertinent to evolution education in the archipelago.
- Designed, implemented, and published a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience investigating a hermit crab- Hydractinia spp. symbiosis. Implemented in an undergraduate marine animal diversity laboratory at the UMN, this CURE allows students to engage in scientific discourse by designing and executing an experiment, from generating hypotheses to presenting results.
- Worked as a TA teaching the Biology and Evolution of Sex to undergraduate students who were “non-biology majors.” As an educator, I guided students through complex biological concepts using reliable pedagogical techniques to make science relevant and comprehensible to a general audience.
- I completed a three-month internship through the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP) working under director Dr. Randy Wells and staff scientist Dr. Katie McHugh.
Evolution in Galápagos:
Mazur, C., Galush, T., Moore, R., & Cotner, S. (2018). Primary motivations of tourists visiting Galápagos: do tourists visit the archipelago to learn about evolution? Evolution: Education and Outreach, 11(1).
Cotner, S., Mazur, C., Galush, T., and Moore, R. (2017). Teaching the tourists in Galápagos: what do Galápagos National Park guides know, think, and teach tourists about evolution? Evolution: Education and Outreach 10.