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This Is What Science Looks Like at NC State: Doreen McVeigh

Image courtesy of Doreen McVeigh.
Photo by Joe Zambon, courtesy of Doreen McVeigh.

Editor’s note: This post was written by Doreen McVeigh, a Ph.D. student studying marine ecology at NC State. The post is part of an ongoing series that we hope will highlight the diversity of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The series is inspired by the This Is What A Scientist Looks Like site.

Image: Doreen McVeigh
Photo: Doreen McVeigh

I am a second year Biological Oceanography Ph.D. student in Dave Eggleston’s Marine Ecology and Conservation Lab. My research studies larval dispersal of deep-sea methane seep invertebrates such as tubeworms, mussels, and clams throughout the Atlantic Ocean using computer modeling and molecular tools. The computer model combines biological and physical oceanographic factors to predict how these deep sea larvae spread across the ocean floor. Using the molecular tools, we can then determine whether the computer models are correct. The work enables us to go out to sea on research vessels and sample known methane seep sites at depths ranging from 600 to 3,500 meters, as well as participate in exploration of new sites with remotely operated vehicles and manned submarines.

Outside of the lab, I have two passions: SCUBA-diving and Irish dance. We work together in our lab supporting each other’s work, and some recent projects required scientific divers to sample oyster reefs throughout Pamlico Sound. As a scientific diver, I can support the research of coastal systems, and as a recreational diver it is possible to enjoy the biodiversity and natural beauty of marine life. Out of the water, Irish dance is a way to celebrate my Irish culture, foster friendship with other members of the community, and relieve stress through exercise. We work together as team and compete as solo dancers in competitions called feiseanna (pronounced fesh-ie-anna). Both recreational activities remind me to enjoy life, focus on challenges, and practice, practice, practice!