Mikayla Ortega

fullsizerenderMikayla is a first year student pursuing a Master’s of Science in Marine Biology. She completed her undergraduate studies at San Diego State University (SDSU), majoring in Biology and double minoring in Psychology and Geological Sciences. During her third year there she spent four months abroad studying at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. It was there she found confirmation for her interests in the marine sciences through her participation in coral ecology studies and pacific dolphin behavioral studies. She spent time volunteering for the Birch Aquarium and worked closely with the organization San Diego Refugee Tutoring at Ibarra Elementary. During her final year at SDSU she connected with the Tresguerres lab and participated in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, focusing her studies on the soluble adenyl cyclase (sAC) protein and its presence in leopard sharks. She continued her work with leopard sharks by participating in senior undergraduate off-campus research opportunities through SDSU. It was through this experience she decided to join the Tresguerres lab as an official graduate student. She has since shifted gears and is now focusing on research related to coral physiology.

Research Interest:

  • coral physiology
  • mechanisms involved in calcification and photosynthesis
  • regulation of intracellular pH