Ella grew up in Christchurch and moved to Dunedin to attend the University of Otago where she finished her Bachelors in Genetics in 2022. Over the summer of 22/23 she completed a summer studentship in the department of Biochemistry here at Otago and is now starting her Masters. Ella will be investigating freshwater sponges, their diversity, and potential use as passive eDNA samplers for NZ rivers. She is supervised by Dr. Gert-Jan Jeunen and Dr. Nathan Kenny. (Dep. Biochemistry, Univ. Otago).