Jennifer Wong-Ala

NOAA-EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow 
Ph.D., Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
Oregon State University

Jennifer Wong-Ala earned a B.S. in Global Environmental Science in 2017 from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She earned her M.S. in Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University in 2020. Jennifer is now a Ph.D. candidate at Oregon State University, Corvallis. Her thesis is titled, “Transport and connectivity of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts around the main Hawaiian Islands.” Jennifer is investigating the connectivity and dispersal of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in Hawaiian waters in regards to the health of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, one of the most endangered seal species in the world. Her research will contribute to recovery planning for this species and address both population status and habitats and biological systems.

Research Theme: Healthy Habitats

NOAA LMRCSC Fellows attain the NOAA Core Competencies detailed in this rubric.

NERTO Project Title: Transport of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in coastal areas inhabited by the Hawaiian monk seal

NOAA Mentor:  Dr. Johanna Wren, Dr. Donald Kobayashi, Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski – NOAA NMFS, PIFSC, Honolulu, HI

Academic Advisor: Lorenzo Ciannelli


  1. Wilson MN*, Laufer AE, Howard EM and Wong-Ala JATK (2021) Lessons From the Trenches: Students’ Perspectives of Their Own Marine Transdisciplinary Education. Front. Mar. Sci. 7:592368. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.592368
  2. Wong-Ala JATK, Comfort CM, Gove JM, Hixon MA, McManus MA, Powell BS, Whitney JL and Neuheimer AB (2018) How Life History Characteristics and Environmental Forcing Shape Settlement Success of Coral Reef Fishes. Front. Mar. Sci. 5:65. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2018.00065

NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center
University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Lead Institution)
(410) 651-7870
Award numbers: FY 2021 Award #NA21SEC4810005
Funding Agency: NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority-Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI)

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