Max Miner


Thesis Topic

eDNA-based reconstruction of harmful algal bloom dynamics at an Indigenous shellfish mariculture site on the central B.C. coast.


Dr. Brian Hunt and Dr. Camilla Speller


B.S. Environmental Sciences (Marine Ecology), Anthropology Minor, Western Washington University

Research Unit

Pelagic Ecosystems Lab


I am an M.Sc. student interested in the impacts of anthropogenic change on coastal marine ecosystems. My work at IOF uses environmental DNA (eDNA) and ancient DNA (aDNA) methodologies to examine harmful algal bloom dynamics along the Pacific Northwest coast. For my thesis, I will be using DNA extracted from nearshore marine sediment core samples to reconstruct past HAB events at a clam garden site in the traditional territory of the Gitga’at Nation.

My love of learning and sense of wonder at the natural world drive my research; sharing that sense of wonder with others gives me purpose. I completed my B.S. in Environmental Sciences in 2016 at Western Washington University. After graduating, I worked as an instructor and, later, an administrator at an environmental education center on the San Juan Islands. Prior to joining IOF, I worked most recently as the Coastal Science Intern for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, where I conducted research on the environmental drivers of nearshore planktonic community dynamics in the Salish Sea. Additional research interests include marine ecology, archaeology and anthropogenic change.

Research Interests

Marine ecology, historical ecology, anthropogenic change in coastal environments, science communication.


Washington State/National Estuarine Program Internship (2019-2020)
Nation Science Foundation REU Fellowship (2016)

Selected Publications

Miner, M.R. 2020 Environmental drivers of shellfish settlement across a ten-site monitoring network. Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Vancouver, BC. Presenter. (abstract accepted, conference canceled due to COVID-19)
Horwith M., Donoghue C., Bleke E., Miner M., Feifel K. 2019. Ocean acidification resilience across habitat types. Final Report for the Habitat Strategic Initiative. National Estuary Program.
Miner, M.R. 2018 Community Marine Science Centers Panel. Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, Seattle, WA. Panel member.
Miner, M.R., Gothman, A.G., Gagnon, A.C. 2017. Effects of Carbonate Chemistry on Calcification in the Orange Cup Coral, Balanophyllia elegans. Annual Conference of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA. Poster.
Miner, M.R., Stoller, A., Chavira, M., Yang, S. 2016 “Results and Analysis of Citizen Science
Marine Debris Survey.” Salish Sea Citizen Science Symposium, Anacortes, WA. Presenter.
Miner M.R.. 2015. Phytoplankton of the Pacific Northwest: Ecology and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Worthley Botanical Society, Finksburg, MD. Presenter.

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