Veronica is pursuing a PhD under the supervision of Professors Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Sophie Dove in the Coral Reef Ecosystems Lab at the University of Queensland. She joined the XL Catlin Seaview Survey as a XL Catlin Ocean Scholar in 2014.
Veronica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Johns Hopkins University. After graduation Veronica worked as a research assistant in the deep-sea ecology lab of Dr. Erik Cordes at Temple University. There she worked with cold-water corals Lophelia pertusa and Paramuricea collected from the Gulf of Mexico and Labrador Sea, respectively. Veronica was involved in the commencement of a deep-sea ocean acidification project, identifying L. pertusa reference housekeeping genes for gene expression studies. In an independent project, she examined the genetic structure of Paramuricea species, from the northwest Atlantic, in relation to depth and water mass structure.
Veronica is thrilled to work with both the shallow-water and deep-reef teams. Since joining the XL Catlin Seaview Survey Veronica has traveled to Timor Leste, Indonesia, Chagos, and Maldives with the team. The mesophotic zone particularly intrigues Veronica. For her PhD thesis Veronica is interested in studying how coral communities change over a depth gradient, particularly trophic levels and symbiont associations. The Maldives is a primary study site in her research.