Ocean lover, travel addict, scuba diver, & invasive species nerd.


Erin Spencer is a marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer who is interested in using media to bridge the gap between the marine science community and the general public.

She’s traveled from Florida to Fiji in search of creative ways people are combatting invasive species in their backyards. A number of organizations have featured photos and videos from the project, including NBC, the New York Times, National Geographic, and CBS Sunday Morning.

In addition to her invasive species work, she studies sustainable fisheries management. Her current work involves using DNA barcoding to assess the rate of red snapper mislabeling in the Southeastern United States, a practice that poses economic, environmental, and human health risks. The goal of the project is to give fishery managers and vendors a clearer picture of the scope of seafood mislabeling, and to give consumers tangible tools for how they can best avoid fraud.

Erin is a Master’s student at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Previously, she was Digital Outreach Manager at Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C., and received her Bachelor’s from the College of William and Mary.