Our Team

Karina Scavo Lord

Karina is a postdoctoral associate lecturer at Boston University (BU). She completed her PhD in the Finnerty Lab at BU where she focused on understanding the role of non-reef coral habitats, like mangroves, to coral survival and evolution and its implications for conservation. In her postdoc, Karina is continuing to use these approaches to investigate the spatial scale of heat tolerance and adaptation of populations of the temperate eelgrass, Zostera marina, across New England using both genomic and experimental approaches.

Noah Singer

Noah is a first-year masters student at Boston University in the Biology Program. He majored in Marine Science and Biology at The University of Miami RSMAS. He is working on an eelgrass restoration in Nantucket Harbor with Dr. Alyssa Novak, restoring two half-acre sites by transplanting vegetative Eelgrass and planting over 250,000 eelgrass seeds. Additionally, he will research bay scallop recruitment into newly restored eelgrass environments and predation on bay scallops. He loves to go SCUBA diving, hiking, and other outdoor activities when he is not cheering on the New Jersey Devils or Boston Red Sox.

Kimberly Candelario

Kimberly is a senior at Boston University in the BA/MA Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program. She will complete her Master’s thesis with the Novak Lab, studying bacterial communities in seagrass sediment. She is from Southern California and grew up with easy access to amazing aquariums and whale watching. She has a passion for all things marine and is also a member of the Davies Lab at BU where she has assisted in researching the connectivity and thermal tolerance of Astrangia Poculata coral along the east coast. Her background in biochemistry has given her the opportunity to learn many different lab techniques that she has been able to apply to her research. She is new to seagrass research but is excited to apply her lab skills and learn about a new topic. Kimberly is especially looking forward to gaining her first fieldwork experience while at the Novak Lab.


Charley Mitchell

Charley is a first year Master’s research student at Boston University.  He is in the Biology department and has a focus on Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution. He majored in Marine Science and minored in Biology at Boston University. He is working on eelgrass wasting disease and the impact it has on carbon sequestration rates around the Massachusetts area.  In addition, Charley’s is studying the susceptibility of eelgrass populations to wasting disease using genomics and is co-advised by Dr. John Finnerty.  When Charley is not performing his research, he likes to run along the Charles River and listen to a wide range of music


Past Students/Technicians


2021-2022:  Cece Gerstenbacher, Ryen Guthrie, Ved Ahuja

2019-2021:  Hannah Ferraro, Nayantara Srinivasan, Nikki Sarette

2017-2018: Julian Burlando-Salazar, Aryanna Volk, Grace Maddox

2016-2017: Lindsay Peter, Audrey Michniak, Molly Sullivan

2015-2016: Hali Macko, Charley Williford

2015-2017: Hanna Mogensen