Siena McKim

Joined: Nov 13, 2017 Last Active: Sep 11, 2023 iNaturalist

Hello! Thanks for checking out my profile. I am finishing up my first year of my PhD UCSB where I am studying Peracarida crustaceans (amphipods, isopods, and tanaids) that live in sponges. I'm also doing work on the evolution of silk production in Crustacea. In addition to being a naturalist and researcher, I am an artist, creating 2D and 3D pieces focusing on the under appreciated marine invertebrates of southern California. I am constantly looking for ways to educate the public on these organisms so if you have a classroom or program that welcomes scientist, I would love to be your guest! You can take a look at some of my art on my Instagram @imlichentoday

Previously I was the the Algae/Invertebrates Expert and Artist-in-Residence at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps UCSD where I created murals highlighting species in the Marine Protected Areas in La Jolla, San Diego. Since I started SCUBA diving in San Diego in 2019, I have been trying to catalogue and identify all the sub-tidal invertebrates I come across, with a keen interest in sponges, sea slugs, tunicates, and amphipods. With my observations and knowledge gained through the people of iNaturalist, personal research, and my various volunteering positions, I want to teach others about earth's amazing organisms.

I did my undergrad at University of Michigan where I studied Art & Design, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. During my time at U of M I studied freshwater algae, and published my first paper in the Great Lakes Botanist Journal on a new species of diatom a research partner and I discovered living endosymbiotically in colonies of the ciliate Ophrydium versatile. You can request to read the full text of my paper on my research gate if interested. (

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