Melissa received her Bachelor of Science (Honours/Co-op) in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. It was through her Co-op degree where she gained plenty of hands on work and field experience focussed in chemical oceanography. She now combines that knowledge in conjunction with studying algae. She is completing her PhD in John Beardall’s Lab, investigating the patterns of vertical migration of phytoplankton from the Gippsland Lake. This involves both field work in the lakes, completing 24-hour in-situ monitoring, as well as using phytoplankton columns in the laboratory to observe vertical migration patterns of both dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria isolated from Gippsland under various environmental conditions.