Ashley Elizabeth Batts | Dean’s Award of Merit

Ashley Elizabeth BattsMajor: Physics (Graduate School Track) and Marine Science/Biology 

Minor: Randall Research Scholars and Blount Scholars Program 

Hometown: Kingsport, Tennessee

Favorite experience: My two favorite experiences while in college were doing research and studying abroad. At UA, I did research with Dr. Kevin Kocot in the Biological Sciences department. One of the projects I did was a study on the biodiversity of euphrosinids (Annelida), a type of deep-sea marine worm. In the summer of 2019, I did a two-week faculty-led trip to Costa Rica where I took a field biology course. During this trip, I discovered a love for the outdoors and being in the field. During fall 2021, I studied abroad in Sorrento, Italy. I was particularly excited about this as the pandemic had canceled my plans to study abroad the previous year. My favorite part of this experience was how easy it was to travel and explore the different regions of Italy.

Favorite Course: My favorite class was MS 448, Introduction to Oceanography taught at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. I enjoyed this class because it included the physical, geological, biological, and chemical processes of the ocean. I also loved the opportunity to do fieldwork, particularly on the R/V Alabama Discovery.

Future Plans: In the fall, I will be starting graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography. I am awaiting decisions from a few more schools before making a final decision on where I will go for my Ph.D. After completing my Ph.D., I want to work in research. I am currently interested in pursuing a career in academia but am keeping an open mind to other opportunities. This summer, I am planning to go on a month-long road trip through the American Southwest. I am primarily interested in hiking and camping at various national parks in Utah and Colorado.