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Shirley received her PhD from the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology department at UCSB in the Fall of 2013. She began working with the CNS as a graduate fellow in 2011. Her biological research takes place in Moorea, French Polynesia where she investigates how sea urchin population dynamics affect local coral reef community structure. As an undergraduate at Colgate University, she double majored and received bachelor’s degrees in both Mathematics and Biology. Shirley also holds a masters degree in Applied Statistics from UCSB. Her work with Rich Appelbaum and IRG2 examines the development of nanotechnology in emerging economies, mainly concentrating on China.