Tanner Waters

Tanner Waters


Tanner Waters (he/him) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. His graduate research focuses on using the emerging technique of environmental DNA metabarcoding to assess the impact of coastal restoration and conservation efforts. This work includes partnering with local NGOs to create rich, collaborative research. Specifically, he works with ‘The Bay Foundation’ investigating the impacts of seagrass restorations on localized biodiversity and with ‘Heal the Bay’ to assess the impact of Los Angeles’ Marine Protected Areas on fish richness and abundance. Tanner also works with UCLA’s Center for Diverse Leadership in Science- the nation’s first university center to focus on diversity in environmental science. As a gay, first generation college student he understands the importance of making science and academia a place that is diverse and inclusive of various backgrounds and identities. He is the co-founder of the center’s ‘Inclusive Sustainability Collective’, a group dedicated to diversifying and training the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Tanner received a B.S. in Environmental Science, A.B. in Earth and Ocean Science and minor in Biology from Duke University. He previously worked in a Superfund lab where he researched the impacts of arsenite toxicity on mitochondrially mutated C. elegans. Tanner is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellow, Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Fellow, and Center for Diverse Leadership in Science fellow.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Current Position:
Ph. D. Candidate
Coastal & Marine Issues
Conservation Science & Biology

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