Our Team

Arieanna Balbar

Editor in chief

Arieanna is completing her PhD in Biological Oceanography under the supervision of Anna Metaxas. Her work, at the interface of science and marine policy, has sparked her passion for science communication. Arieanna studies underwater highways that transport developing microscopic animals, called plankton, tens to hundreds of kilometers along the coast. In a dynamic ocean environment, plankton usually go with the flow, but many can move up or down to avoid predators or to seek food or a suitable place to settle on the ocean floor. As these plankton seed the next generation year after year, learning about their patterns of dispersal is extremely important for long-term livelihood of many marine animals. Even more so, this information is critical to consider when deciding where human activities should be restricted to protect these oceanic highways. When Arieanna is not working on her thesis, you can probably find her at the CrossFit gym. When weather permits, she enjoys exploring the sights that Nova Scotia has to offer. And on rainy days, she loves to cook and work on the latest “do it yourself” project.

Brendan Smith


Brendan is a PhD student in Physical Oceanography.  He works on passive acoustic monitoring of hydrothermal vents to find out what can be learned about these vents by listening to them.  In his spare time he records music for local bands and enjoys playing music with others when he gets the chance!

Emmanuelle Cook

Editor & Web page designer

Emmanuelle is a PhD student in Physical Oceanography. She works on characterizing, and modeling Arctic ambient noise. Her goal is to eventually combine her knowledge and experience gained through engineering and oceanography to create solutions for ocean environmental protection and sustainability. She spends her spare time rock climbing, sailing, skiing and walking her dog. 

Graeme Guy


Graeme is an MSc student in Biological Oceanography. He works on determining how larvae travel between spatially fragmented coral colonies in the deep sea, and how this information can be used in the development of effective management strategies. In his spare time he likes to get outside and enjoys rock climbing, diving, skiing and hiking.

Sarah de Mendonça


Sarah is a PhD Candidate in Biological Oceanography and is supervised by Dr. Anna Metaxas. Her research includes spatial analysis of deep-sea animals that live on the seafloor in a Canadian Marine Protected Area. Conservation is very important to her, as well as the further exploration of these cool creatures. She also enjoys artistic hobbies, such as learning to play the ukulele!

Wendy Muraoka


Wendy is a PhD student in Biological Oceanography. Her work uses microscopic fish teeth as a proxy to look at fish population changes over the last few thousand years. She hopes that her work looking at the past will aid in present day conservation efforts. In her spare time, she enjoys snorkeling, scuba diving, and playing board games with friends