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Erik Brush
Knauss Fellow 2024
PhD Zoology, UH Manoa (expected)
BS Marine Biology, Auburn University
Erik Brush

2525 Correa Rd., HIG 239
Honolulu, HI 96822

For his 2024 Knauss Fellowship, Erik Brush is joining NOAA’s Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping program within the Office of Coast Survey as an executive fellow. While working for the Office of Coast Survey, Erik will gain valuable experience coordinating regional ocean mapping campaigns around North America, as well as networking with scientists and managers across NOAA. He hopes to expand his portfolio by gaining experience and expertise in a field outside of his dissertation research and acquiring a more in-depth knowledge of the interface between research and policy. Ultimately, his goal is to leverage the skills gained during this fellowship in a future career in nearshore ecosystem management that uses applied research for direct conservation actions.

Erik is a zoology PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, graduating during the spring of 2024. His dissertation focuses on the physical reefscape-scale (e.g., surrounding habitat complexity) and colony-scale (e.g., coral colony size) variables, as well as biological interactions (e.g., competition and predation) that shape fish and invertebrate communities on Hawaiian coral reefs. Using antler coral as a study system, he also applied state of the art photogrammetry techniques to measure growth rates of colonies harboring different fish communities. Erik has applied his passion about coral reef research and conservation by engaging in several outreach opportunities: helping to organize the 2017 March for Science, teaching coral reef science to elementary school students around Oʻahu, and mentoring undergraduates in coral reef ecology and advanced underwater surveying techniques. Alongside his academic interests, Erik also worked to increase the resiliency of his community by serving on the Executive Council of the UH Mānoa graduate worker union and as a Graduate Student Organization departmental representative.