Student Spotlight: Sarah Donaher

Sarah Donaher is currently in the MS Marine Science program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and recently successfully defended her thesis! She is part of the Coastal Ecology Lab under Dr. Rachel Gittman. Learn more about Dr. Gittman and her lab at

Sarah tells us that seagrass habitat degradation due to human-related activities has accelerated across the globe. Restoration of these valuable ecosystems has proven to be both challenging and costly. She is investigating the use of facilitation, or relationships between organisms wherein both individuals benefit, to enhance the success rate of seagrass restoration. Co-restoring bivalves and seagrasses has the potential to promote seagrass resiliency to disturbances such as hurricanes and eutrophication. This could provide a cost-efficient, proactive way to protect our coastal ecosystems and the services they provide to human communities.     

Learn more about Sarah at