About

About me:

I am an undergraduate Marine Biology major minoring in Restoration Science and Management at the University of Rhode Island. In addition to my studies, I also work as a research assistant in the Putnam Lab. In the lab, I work alongside Ph.D. candidate Kevin Wong in investigating the mechanisms causing intra- and trans-generational acclimatization of reef-building coral, Porites atreoides, in response to environmental change. I perform laboratory techniques such as chlorophyll analysis, Symbiodiniaceae cell counts, RNA and DNA extractions, and BCA total protein assays to help piece together the mechanisms behind these complex processes.

I will be graduating with a B.S. in Marine Biology in May 2019, and am planning on entering into a graduate program in the Fall of 2020. My research interests are primarily focused on investigating the mechanisms that allow hermatypic corals to adapt and acclimatize to multiple simultaneous stressors, and the implications of these mechanisms towards conservation and ecology.

If you would like to find more information about the Putnam Laboratory at the University of Rhode Island, please visit the Putnam Lab website.


Contact me:

Email: erin_chille@my.uri.edu


 

Curriculum vitae:

     

ERIN E. CHILLE

Department of Biological Sciences
University of Rhode Island
120 Flagg Road, Kingston RI 02881

Education:

Date Degree Affiliation
May 2019 B.S. Marine Biology with Minor in Restoration Science and Mangement The University of Rhode Island

Relevant Coursework

Topic Courses
Ecology and Evolution Introductory Ecology
  The Invisible Living Ocean
  Marine Ecology
  Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics
  Using Genomic Techniques to Examine the Evolution of Populations
  Ocean Data Modelling (Ocean Data Integration I)
Conservation Introduction to Marine and Coastal Law
  Foundations in Restoration Ecology
  Conservation Biology
Cell and Development Biochemistry
  Structural Biochemistry
  General Genetics
Organismal Biology and Physiology Invertebrate Zoology
  Marine Environmenal Physiology
  General Animal Physiology
Science Communication Communicating Environmental Research and Outreach
  Public Engagement with Science
  Honors Research Writing

International Education

Bermuda Marine Biodiversity, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. Mar 2017.

  • Used GoPro video footage to investigate the effects of wave exposure on species composition and biodiversity in the benthic community. Reported findings in formal research paper.

Coral Reef Conservation, Bonaire, Dutch Antilles. Jan 2016.

  • Learned about coral reef ecology, major anthropogenic effects on coral reefs, and potential management solutions for reef restoration.
  • Collected and analyzed underwater data on reef health using fish counts, reef rugosity measurements, and point-intercept benthic composition surveys, and used this information to investigate the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.
  • Reported findings to the Bonaire marine park managers as well as in a formal research paper.

 

Relevant Experience:

Research Assistant, P.I. Dr. Hollie Putnam.

Jan 2018-Pres:

  • Investigating the effects of thermal stress on coral larvae fitness using chlorophyll analysis, cell counts and BCA protein assay protocols.
  • Conducting RNA and DNA extractions on Montipora capitata larvae.

Narrow River Preservation Association Board (NRPA), Narragansett, RI.

Jan 2018-Pres:

  • Coordinate river-wide coastal cleanup.
  • Lead educational activities during Art on the River and What Lives in the River events.
  • Act as liaison between URI environmental groups and NRPA board.
  • Provide input on NRPA activities during monthly board meetings.

Research Assistant, P.I. Dr. Graham Forrester.

Jun 2018–Pres:

  • Investigating the effects of parasitism and refuge shortage on density-dependent interactions in bridled gobies. Research conducted on Guana Island, British Virgin Islands. Writing up results in a manuscript to submit to Scientific Reports.

Sept 2016–Dec 2017:

  • Organized data collected during the URI Bonaire J-term Program from 2014-2017 in order to compile a status report for the STINAPA Bonaire National Parks Foundation.

R/V Endeavor Cruise, Northwest Atlantic Coast.

Apr 2018:

  • Investigated right whale-zooplankton-environment interactions offshore of Rhode Island.
  • Prepared and conducted live telepresence interactions with the public (schools, organizations) from the ship that outlined shipboard activities, relevant science background material, and cruise discoveries.

Coastal Research Fellow and Lab Technician, URI Watershed Watch.

May-Feb 2018:

  • Developed monitoring and analytical protocols for the collection and size fractionation of cyanobacteria.
  • Examined the efficacy of using cyanobacteria fractionation to predict bloom formation.
  • Conducted fluorometric analysis on over 100 samples from three ponds to determine chlorophyll and phycocyanin concentration. Analyzed data and summarized study in a scientific poster.
  • Processed water samples from over 30 sites monthly for dissolved oxygen, pH and alkalinity, chlorophyll, and nutrient analysis, and managed associated data.
  • Prepared monitoring equipment for monthly collections for over 30 sites.

Chief Watchstander, Inner Space Center (ISC), Narragansett, RI.

Jun 2016-Sept 2018:

  • Recruited, trained, and managed undergraduate interns.
  • Scheduled watchstander and engineer shifts during telepresence-enabled research expeditions.
  • Acted as a ship to shore liaison for scientists onboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, E/V Nautilus and UNOLS vessels by logging scientific data.
  • Researched and developed oceanographic projects, such as NOAA’s Ocean Video Lab Citizen Science Project
  • Managed educational content development and videodata inventories. Wrote web content and provided maintenance for the ISC and Discovery of Sound in the Sea websites.

Research Assistant, P.I. Tara Stevens.

Sept 2016-Mar 2017:

  • Compiled digital catalog for North Atlantic orca observations, photographs, and associated metadata from 1981-2016.

Volunteer, Biomes Marine Biology Center, Narragansett, RI.

Oct 2012-Aug 2013:

  • Interpreted exhibits and relayed accurate information to visitors.
  • Maintained exhibits and facility.
  • Tested water quality.
  • Prepared food for animals. Conducted feedings/demonstrations and handled invertebrates.

Docent, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT.

Jun 2012-Oct 2012:

  • Interpreted exhibits and relayed accurate information to visitors.
  • Conducted feedings/demonstrations, and handled invertebrates.

   

Certifications and Awards:

Year Achievement
2019 SDI Underwater Photography Diver
2018 SDI Rescue Diver
2018 Diver’s Alert Network First Aid/ CPR/Emergency Oxygen
2016 AAUS Scientific Diver
2016 SDI Nitrox Diver
2015 Girl Scout Gold Awardee

C.V. updated 3 April 2019