Chelsea Fowler, Scientist

“Some human genetic complexes are just destined to work with fish”

-Carl Safina

Currently I’m pursuing my Master’s degree and working as a graduate research assistant in the Plough Lab at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

I graduated from The University of Tampa in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in marine science and biology. After I graduated, I joined the United States Peace Corps as a Coastal Resource Management Specialist in the Philippines. In the Philippines I engaged with local communities to better understand coastal resource use, carry out baseline assessments, and support local restoration efforts. These experiences motivated me to find a research program that had strong ties to management and improved the accessibility of science.

With my advisor Dr. Louis Plough, I’m investigating the efficacy of novel environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring techniques to generate accurate fish run counts for spawning river herring populations.  Genomic tools like eDNA monitoring have the potential to give us a deeper understanding of important fish populations. My research is supported by the Maryland SeaGrant Fellowship Program which provides me with ample opportunities to hone my creativity and engage with the public. Learn more about my research, here


In addition to being a scientist, I also run an Etsy Shop where I sell handmade goods.

Posts on Science, Graduate School, and my Career Journey:

More by Chelsea:

The Vaccination Crustacean Doesn’t Want Old Bay: It Just Wants COVID to go Away

A blog written in 2021 for Maryland SeaGrant Fellowship Experiences Blog on how moving to Maryland inspired my COVID PSA cartoon.

Creativity: The Unexpected Science Skill

A blog written in 2021 for Maryland SeaGrant Fellowship Experiences Blog on how my graduate school experiences taught me that creativity and science go hand-in-hand.

10 Things to do While Adjusting to Life in a New Country

A blog written in 2017 for Travel Belles on how to occupy your time while adjusting to life in a new and unfamiliar place.

VOLunteering for the summer at nybg and amnh

A blog written in 2014 for iDigBio on my internship experiences working at both the New York Botanical Gardens and The American Museum of Natural History.