We are very excited to introduce the newest member of the REEF Team, Dr. Rachel Walls. Rachel began working with REEF in January 2022, and will continue ongoing research started by previous REEF Research Associate, Dr. Dan Greenberg. This body of work seeks to leverage the extensive REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project dataset by asking fundamental and applied questions in fisheries science, marine ecology, and conservation biology.

Rachel fell in love with marine life from a young age. She started SCUBA diving in 2002 and became a scientific diver in 2005. She received her undergraduate honours degree in marine biology at Newcastle University in the UK in 2009, and completed an M.Sc. in conservation at University College London in 2011, focusing her thesis on the impacts that divers have on coral reef cleaning stations that are frequented by sharks and rays. Her intrigue in sharks and rays led her to work as the Program Officer for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group (SSG) for a year in 2013, and to continue working part time as a Research Assistant and Red List Trainer for the SSG until 2021. Rachel most recently completed her Ph.D. in marine conservation biology in 2021 from Simon Fraser University, using Europe’s sharks and rays as a case study to explore strategies for including data poor, longer lived species in global biodiversity target timelines in the face of limited conservation resources.

Rachel will be focusing her initial work with REEF data on sea turtles, hamlets, and species targeted by the marine life trade. Dan Greenberg will continue to wrap up his work focusing on REEF data collected in the Florida Keys and how it compares with other monitoring datasets, evaluating populations in the Salish Sea, and trends in the endangered Goliath Grouper. He will work closely with Rachel as her projects get underway.

To read more about the entire REEF Team, visit www.REEF.org/reef-staff-bios.