Expedition Team

Zora McGinnis - S-224


Zora McGinnis was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up between her homes in Stonehurst, NS and St. Louis, MO.  She attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.  After a misguided attempt at doing pre-med in the hopes of becoming a veterinarian, Zora took an oceanography course and realized what she should have been doing all along.  She quickly changed her major to marine and freshwater sciences. A summer’s sail with SEA Semester class S-224 confirmed her salt water addiction.  While on board she completed a project on Pacific diatom speciation. This led to a summer fellowship and an independent study involving Antarctic diatoms and silicoflagellates.  Senior year she changed tack and completed her thesis on nucleoporins in sea urchins.  All involved heavy microscope usage, something Zora enjoys.

Zora is now working on her master’s degree in marine science at Hawaii Pacific University focusing on marine plastics, a topic she was exposed to while sailing with SEA.  She is very excited to be conducting an independent project on the ship, focusing on visual surveys of plastic in the gyre and how plastic densities are reflected in the digestive systems of pelagic fish like myctophids and flying fish.  In her free time, Zora enjoys sailing (any boat, but wooden schooners are her favorite), rowing, SCUBA, soccer, and theater.