Science Coodinator - Red Sea Passage & Mediterranean Sea
Home: Danbury, Connecticut USA
Originally from Danbury, Connecticut, Ildiko Polyak initially became involved with Ocean Alliance as an intern aboard the Cape Ann Whale Watch in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was with the help of the education coordinator, Cynde Bierman, that she was able to volunteer at the mass pilot whale stranding of 2002 in Cape Cod. After graduating from Clark University, Ildiko remained with Ocean Alliance and took the role of science intern and research assistant to chief scientist Celine Godard at The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). At WHOI, she worked in the environmental toxicology lab sequencing different cytochrome P450 genes in marine mammals along with preparing the sperm whale samples from The Odyssey for immunohistochemistry assessment. While in Cape Cod, she also volunteered for the Cape Cod Stranding Network and was able to witness many interesting strandings and necropsies.
Now coming full circle with the work, Ildiko is very eager and excited to try her hand at field research aboard The Odyssey. From lab to ship, she has covered many angles of Ocean Alliance, with only the position of Vice-President left untested. Other than a board position at Ocean Alliance, Ildiko's future plans are to attend graduate school in veterinary pathology and infectious disease after her time aboard the Odyssey and hopefully a career in veterinary medicine.
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