Rachel is conducting her research at College of Charleston on the genetics and life history of lionfish in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Two species of lionfish invaded this region in the mid 1980s and since then have been rapidly spreading north and south along the coast of North and South America. Lionfish can reduce fish recruitment on the reef by up to eighty percent and are now being found in very high population densities on reefs. Not much is known about their reproductive patterns or population connectivity within this region. Her work entails looking at how density on a reef drives certain aspects of life history as well as how populations in this region are connected.