About me.

A dear friend once said of me: “Jill is going to grow up, live near the ocean, and help people learn how to be nice to it.”

I am a marine biologist in training: a PhD student at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. I study how coral reef ecosystems function and react to negative impacts such as fishing, pollution, and climate change. My goal is to better understand coral reef ecology so we can protect and restore these important systems.

I hold a Master of Marine affairs from the University of Washington and a BA in Ecology and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College. I taught high school math at The Island School and studied marine reserves at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in The Bahamas.

I am also a teacher, a social scientist, a farmer’s market aficionado, a recreational photographer, and the world’s worst vegetarian. I make really good Bloody Marys.

Photo by a 5-year-old boy.  This is my "please give my camera back!" face.

Photo by a 5-year-old boy. This is my "please give my camera back!" face.



  1. haay jilly,,!

    you look cutenawesome n that!!!!!!!!

    kabalo diay ka mamasol?o yoiu gotta learn bisaya some more,,,,,

  2. hi jill,

    this is mae from boljoon… oh! i hope you still remember me… the daughter of myra, the owner of the eatery where you used to have your coffee for breakfast…

    how are you?

    we just had the annual town fiesta of boljoon last november 7 and 8, it was really fun, too bad you were not able to witness the celebration..

  3. Hi! I stumbled across your blog while searching for something about bioluminescence, and got caught up in all your fun studies. I was excited to see that you studied at UW SMA, since that is where I will be attending this fall! What was your focus? Thanks for the great stories and don’t be surprised if I pop in every now and then – I love to hear other people’s stories of the ocean! 🙂

    • I’m glad you stopped by, Kara! I studied community-based resource management with Patrick Christie and did my thesis work in the Philippines; check out blog posts from June – August 2008 for fun stories and photos.

      I’m always glad to meet other SMA folks. Shoot me an email (harris.jill@gmail.com) if you have any questions!

  4. 🙂

  5. Seaurchins!!!! i miss ….(*}}}}}<

  6. my best regards!!!hope to see you <'}}}}}}}< 1 Million Yen

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