Nivette Marie Pérez-Pérez
Nivette Marie Pérez-Pérez was born in Puerto Rico, where she constantly interacted with the marine environment and became aware of the disturbances and difficulties experienced by marine ecosystems and resources. These observations motivated her to increase her understanding of the values and importance of the relationship between marine ecosystems and humans, which drove her to pursue studies in coastal marine biology at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao (UPRH).
During her undergraduate studies she participated in diverse summer research programs. Those included a Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON) internship, Miami University of OH - Ecology Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Student Fellowship Program of National Science Foundation (NSF) at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and Marine and Estuarine Sciences NSF-REU at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The exposure to a wide range of research in fisheries, aquaculture, oceanography, microbiology, genetics and others, taught her the importance of team work, communication, collaborative attitude, and dedication to become a recognized researcher.
After graduating from UPRH she worked as research observer for the Caribbean Fishery Management Council during a management project for the parrotfish fishery with local fishermen from Puerto Rico and St. Croix. Inspired by the NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center program she started her Master’s degree at Delaware State University where her graduate research focuses on the Red deep-sea crab (RDSC), Chaceon (Geryon) quinquedens.
RDSC is a commercial species that has been exploited for decades without appropriate knowledge of its biological requirements or population dynamics. She is especially interested in the RDSC larval development, which may be more susceptible to anthropogenic factors. Her graduate research will develop protocols to maintain RDSC larvae under laboratory conditions, which will allow future research on the species and increase our understanding of the species’ biological requirements.
Nivette plans to continue her graduate education through a Ph.D. in marine fisheries. She is pursuing her passion to translate scientific research into results that positively impact people’s lives, and serves as an example and mentor for young students that are curious and interested about our natural surroundings, igniting their passion through STEM disciplines. In this way she has committed to positively impact our natural world and help preserve it for future generations.