Richelle is a PhD Candidate in UC Berkeley's Department of Inegrative Biology. She utilizes community ecology, population genetics, biomechanics, and physiology to answer questions about climate change effects in Phyllaplysia taylori, an estuarine sea hare living in eelgrass beds. Specifically, she is interested in how new populations of P. taylori colonize San Francisco Bay eelgrass restoration sites, as they play a large role in eelgrass ecosystem health. Her current work investigates maternal effects of temperature on larval development, latitudinal trends in thermal tolerance, and local adaptation. She also work with many types of Eastern Pacific nudibranchs and sea hares investigating similar questions.
Prior to coming to UC Berkeley, Richelle finished her undergraduate degrees in environmental studies and jazz studies at the University of Southern California. Her undergraduate research projects investigated secondary productivity in subtidal eelgrass beds on Catalina Island, CA and the effects of historic climate change on temperature trends and the urban heat island effect in cities along the western edge of the United States.