Cheryl earned a B.S. in biology (emphasis in marine biology) from San Diego State University in 2006. After traveling and working in the nonprofit sector for a number of years, she began working on her M.S. in fisheries and conservation biology at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML). Her master’s thesis evaluated growth, reproductive potential, and mortality of California Halibut (Paralichthys californicus). In addition to collecting new data for the central California stock, she analyzed existing data from southern California to assess biogeographic effects on California Halibut life history. She also worked closely with agency scientists to ensure that her results would be useful for upcoming stock assessments. During her time at MLML, Cheryl served as a program representative for California Sea Grant and lead scientist for the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program.
In 2015, Cheryl began working on her PhD with Anne Beaudreau through the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Based out of Juneau, she is now collaborating with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC, NOAA) to calculate an index of predation for Gulf of Alaska Walleye Pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus) that will be used as a modifier of constant natural mortality to improve the stock assessment for this highly valuable species. Another portion of Cheryl’s dissertation involves analyzing bottom trawl survey data collected throughout the Gulf of Alaska and conducting a small-scale field study in southeast Alaska to investigate the potential for competition between Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) and Arrowtooth Flounder (Atheresthes stomias). This research component complements concurrent studies by personnel at the IPHC, AFSC, and UAF to enhance our understanding about potential mechanisms responsible for recent decreases in size-at-age of Pacific Halibut.