Originally from Illinois, Isabella McDonnell has transformed her childhood love of the ocean and marine animals into a career of conservation. She received her B.A. in marine biology and environmental studies from New College of Florida, where her research focused on negative environmental influences on marine mammals, such as red tide blooms and unsafe boating practices. Isabella’s undergraduate thesis looked at the growth patterns of manatee vibrissae (sensitive whiskers) and the possible effects of ocean acidification on these gentle giants. Aiming to share her passion for protecting the environment, she endeavors to use communication to bridge the gap between research and conservation efforts. Prior to joining SCCF, Isabella worked in environmental education and as a Protected Species Observer. Outside of her career, Isabella is an avid SCUBA diver, rock climber, and hiker and enjoys practicing art and vegan baking.