Interested in working with the Gates Lab?

Prospective Interns and Other Volunteers

Prospective Graduate Students

The Gates Lab is currently full, so Dr. Gates is not accepting any new graduate applicants at this time.

Please fill out this application: http://tinyurl.com/gateslabintern and email your resume/CV to Kira at kirawa@hawaii.edu. Once we receive your application materials we will contact you if we have space available. We look forward to hearing from you!

Note: We no longer have internships available for Summer 2017. You are welcome to still apply in case something opens up, but we recommend considering other times of the year. We do still have opportunities to volunteer during Summer spawning events (~6-11 pm over 5 nights per month). 

Prospective Post Doctoral Researchers

We have a dynamic postdoctoral community with a history of US and international participants. Please contact Dr. Gates to discuss availability and funding potential.

                                      Mariah Opalek
                                              University of Hawaii at Manoa
                                              Hometown: Kalaheo, Kauai
How did you become interested in research in marine biology?
Growing up, the beach was practically my second home. I'd spend hours looking in tidepools, snorkeling coral reefs and being fascinated about organisms I had no idea about or what they even were for that matter. But as my education continued I realized how much scientists really didn't know about the ocean and its inhabitants. And especially now with the declining health of our ocean, there's a potential risk of losing creatures that I grew up loving and losing creatures we have yet discovered. I want to use my passion to positively impact our ocean so we can continue observing, learning, and discovering everything it has to offer.  
What projects are you working on in the Gates Lab?    
This will be the first time I have ever worked in a lab so I'm starting off by learning basic lab techniques and general lab protocol. I will also be assisting graduate Shayle Matsuda with projects where we'll be looking at the coral-algal symbiosis and the response of this system to climate stressors. 

Where do you plan to go next? What are your career goals?

I plan on eventually being able to design my own experiments to conduct in the lab and finding opportunities where I am able to work in labs around the world.

                                      Dyson Chee
                                               Hometown: Honolulu, HI
How did you become interested in research in marine biology?

I became interested in research in marine biology through my love of fish. I've loved fish and kept fish tanks for as long as I can remember. While studying about fish through aquariums, books, and nature, I learned about other marine animals, which also fascinated me. I wanted to know and learn more about them through research.
What projects are you working on in the Gates Lab?    
The project I am helping with is a reciprocal transplant experiment, with the goal of looking at how corals and their symbionts respond to a variable vs. a stable pH environment.

Where do you plan to go next? What are your career goals?

I plan to take college courses at Kapiolani Community College next fall [as a high school student]. My long term goal is to become an ichthyologist. 


                                      Ella Wilmot
                                               Hometown: Orange County, California
How did you become interested in research in marine biology?
I have always had a passion for ocean conservation since I was about nine years old. I loved the beach, exploring tide pools, snorkeling, playing in the waves, and finally SCUBA diving once I was certified at the age of 13. Seeing all the life within the ocean made me very interested in ocean conservation.
What projects are you working on in the Gates Lab?    
I am currently working with Katie Barott on a coral thermal tolerance experiment.

Where do you plan to go next? What are your career goals?

I am graduating in the fall from UH Manoa, in the Natural Resources and Environmental Management Program, specializing in coastal ecology. I hope to continue to conduct research, work within the ocean conservation field, and pursue a master degree.


                                        Caroline Hobbs
                                                  Yale University 
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
How did you become interested in research in marine biology?
Many of my happiest moments involve animals and/or the ocean; And with each experience I have underwater, I’m continuously struck by the peacefulness, power and mystery of the marine world. The first time my passion manifested itself in the form of research was during my study abroad experience with the School for Field Studies in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I conducted an assessment of shallow coral reef health, measuring the size-frequency distribution of reefs in the Bocas Archipelago. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and found that the more I learned about coral reef ecology the more questions I had. These questions have continued to develop over the course of my time as an undergraduate and graduate student: Who expels who, the host or the symbiont? Where does coral color come from? How do corals adapt to environmental changes over time? At what magnitudes are corals impacted by what environmental and anthropogenic stressors?
What projects are you working on in the Gates Lab?    
I’m currently working on a project testing how two color morphs of in Montipora capitata adapt to different environments. We have fragments of 13 parent M. capitata individuals at three depths and one treatment in shade in the coral nursery, and will monitor Symbiodinium abundance, make-up, and color of the Symbiodinium and coral host over the course of 2 months. We hope this project will give us a better understanding of the relationship between color, environmental change, and phenotypic plasticity in Montipora capitata.
I’m also working on a project with Mariana Rocha De Souza looking at clonality of M. capitata in Kaneohe Bay to see how genetically similar or different strains of the species are developing in different environments.
I’ve been helping Beth Lenz with M. capitata and Porities compressa spawning projects as well!

Where do you plan to go next? What are your career goals?
As I continue to grow as a marine scientist and conservationist I hope to bridge communication gaps between disciplines and interest groups such that wicked problems might be approached and solved more comprehensively and collaboratively. Along with Coastal Ecology and Conservation, I am concentrated on Environmental Economics as a part of my Masters of Environmental Management degree; I will be using the coral biology expertise I cultivate at the Gates Lab to inform my thesis work on Marine Ecosystem Service Assessment methodology.
I am interested in pursuing a PhD and/or an MPA following my MEM, my goals being to connect humans to each other and their environments with accessible multisensory education/engagement, to develop and share problem solving techniques, and to, in each of my endeavors, promote widespread social equality and environmental awareness.


                                         Dennis Conetta
                                                  Northeastern University 
Three Sea's Program
How did you become interested in research in marine biology?
From the age of 11 I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist but it wasn’t until I studied abroad at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences in the Fall of 2012 that this desire of being a marine biologist became a reality. During this semester, me and my fellow students became certified AAUS divers and were exposed to a myriad of field and lab skills, which were later applied during our month long independent research project. This was the first time I was fully in charge of my own research project and it allowed me to think freely as a young scientist. My project was an observational study on parrotfish herbivory and how they impacted reef community and structure. It was after this semester, I was inspired to become a coral reef ecologist. I then went on to work with Dr. Graham Forrester at URI in which I aided in long term coral restoration projects in the British Virgin Islands during my undergraduate career.
What projects are you working on in the Gates Lab?    
Currently I am working as an intern under the pH.D candidate Carlo Caruso. His work is focused on the resiliency and genetic diversity of dominant Kaneohe Bay coral species such as Montipora capitata and Porites compressa. Under Carlo I will also be conducting my own research which will assess the phenotypic plasticity, resiliency, and Symbiodinium makeup of the two major color morphs of Montipora capitata (brown and orange variations). I have also been involved in aiding pH.D candidate Elizabeth Lenz in her coral spawning research.

Where do you plan to go next? What are your career goals?
After my six months in the Gates Lab I will head back to Boston to graduate with my Master’s in Marine Biology from Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program. After graduation, I hope to work for a year or two in a coral ecophysiology lab as a research technician or lab manager before going for my doctorate in Marine Biology. Ideally, I think I would like to be a university professor and conduct my own research while mentoring students, or work in a federal/non-profit institution as a research scientist in coral reef ecology.