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Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Allison Cusick web

Allison is from Seattle, Washington, and now lives in California pursuing her Ph.D. at Scripps Oceanography. She studies phytoplankton in polar fjords and manages the citizen science project FjordPhyto, engaging travelers in cutting edge polar research. The samples collected by citizen scientists on tour vessels helps the Vernet Lab to understand the phenology (or seasonal changes) of phytoplankton along the Antarctic Peninsula and how freshwater may influence community composition from November through March. Allison first traveled to Antarctica in 2013 aboard the RV Nathaniel B Palmer ice-breaker in the Ross Sea and since 2017, has visited the western Peninsula every season with tour vessels lecturing on board, and training tour expedition ship staff to run the citizen science project. Allison holds an M.A.S. in Marine Biodiversity & Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2017) and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington (2006).

To learn more about the citizen science project with tour ships in Antarctica visit To learn more about Allison’s career visit

Research projects / interests:

  • Citizen Science project FjordPhyto
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Phytoplankton
  • polar regions

For publications visit: Allison's CV or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Keywords: FjordPhyto, Citizen Science, Antarctica, Phenology, Phytoplankton