Becca Lensing is a Ph.D. Candidate in Marine Biology at the Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education (C-MORE) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cornell College. Her previous work has investigated symbiotic relationships in insect and coral hosts and worked to build curated sequence databases. Her current research focuses on understanding the role of microbial communities in perturbed, natural ecosystems and testing signatures of community shifts using metagenomic approaches. Her research objective on the cruise is to test hypotheses of octocoral-associated microbial communities by host distribution and taxa.