Melanie A. Ponce is a Graduate Research Assistant pursuing her M.S. in Marine Biology. She is working with the Endowed Chair of the Coastal Conservation and Restoration Lab, Dr. Jennifer Pollack. She earned her B.S. in Wildlife Biology and Ecology from the University of Tennessee Southern in Pulaski, Tennessee. During her undergrad, she was a Research Experience for Undergraduates intern at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab where she tracked oyster development when exposed to predator cues. She was also an REU intern at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she studied methane production in assimilation wetlands. Her future goal is to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protecting coastal environments.