In Their Words: Erica Ferrer, Keeley Coastal Sustainability Scholarship

June 04, 2015


Erica Ferrer received the Keeley Coastal Sustainability Scholarship for her research on "The Effects of Ocean Acifification on Predator-Prey Interaction in Seagrass Systems."

Congratulations Erica!

Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Chemistry

What Scholarship did you receive? Keeley Coastal Sustainability Scholarship
What year are you (1st year, 3rd year)? 3rd year
College: Cowell
Where do you call home?

New Mexico (though I have lived in various parts of California throughout my life).

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

I was enticed by the school’s outstanding marine biology department and close proximity to the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterey Bay Aquarium-- two of my all-time favorite places!
What is your field of focus?

Marine Biology, namely climate change research and its effect on community ecology, ecosystem services, and human infrastructure.
What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?

I hope to go graduate school and pursue a career in conservation and global change biology. I am also very interested in studying the economic importance of ecosystem services in developing countries and am considering taking one or two years before graduate school to study abroad.
What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?

Getting in to the lab I currently work for and, down the line, getting this award was pretty memorable!
What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?

First and foremost, pursue topics that interest you. Second, try to find joy in every class that you take—even the ones you’re not too fond of—because every class you’ll take here at UCSC has something to offer and I’ve found that I produce my best work when I’m happy doing it. Finally, I think life here is easiest once you establish a good support network so don’t be afraid to pursue friendship in both obvious and unexpected places. This network can consist of all different types of people including friends, family, teachers, counselors, and TAs, all of whom help exercise and strengthen your curious mind.
How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?

This scholarship will make living in Santa Cruz this summer feasible and I am extremely grateful for it. The research this scholarship will allow me to pursue (related to ocean acidification) ties in with my larger interests and hopefully make me better qualified for graduate school.