Nicole Morgan is a Ph.D. Candidate in the lab of Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor with the Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science department at Florida State University. She received her Bachelor’s of Science of the University of Texas at Austin in Marine Biology and her Master’s of Science at Florida State University in Biological Oceanography.

She is studying deep-sea seamount community ecology and connectivity by researching the similarities and differences of communities within a seamount, and the population genetics of precious pink corals Hemicorallium laauense and Pleurocorallium secundum across the North Pacific. Seamounts face numerous anthropogenic impacts from fishing, mining, and climate change, and included in fishing is the harvesting of precious corals, especially from the North Hawaiian Ridge seamounts, for jewelry and curio trades.

Nicole has extensive field experience with five previous research cruises in the North Pacific, as well as three cruises in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the South Pacific. When she is not trying to wrangle her way back onto a ship, she can be found pipetting away in the lab or reviewing hours seafloor imagery.