Elizabeth Küsel

Portland, OR, US
Field of Work 
Electrical Engineering
Ocean Acoustics
Portland State University
Job Title or "Student" 
Graduate Research Assistant
Rensselear Polytechnic Institute
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I am currently working on my second PhD at Portland State University, in Portland, OR. After I am finished I'll have a degree in electrical and computer engineering with emphasis on signal processing.

I am originally from Brazil where I got my undergraduate degree in oceanography. I was initially interested in both geology and physical oceanographies and worked a couple of years on a research project about surface sediments on an inner continental shelf north of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the middle of my studies my family moved to Tokyo, Japan, for two years. While living there I discovered the field of acoustical oceanography while browsing books at a popular bookstore that carried foreign books. Back to Brazil, in order to get my bachelor's degree I needed to do a project and write a thesis. By then I was convinced I wanted to pursue ocean acoustics. To do that I had to find an advisor outside my university. At that time not many people, besides the Brazilian Navy, did any work with ocean acoustics. It was also during this time that I met who would be my future PhD advisor, at a workshop in Brazil. I happened to be using his computer model for my project and quickly made his acquaintance. We kept in touch and an opportunity came up for me to come to the US to do a PhD in applied mathematics to underwater acoustics. It was a real challenge, but well worth it!

I completed my degree in 4 years. After that, I moved around the US for a few years gaining experience in other areas of ocean acoustics through a few postdoctoral positions. I finally landed in Newport, OR and from there to Portland. I love being in school and learning new things, specially if it has to do with my general area of research. For the past few years, I have been researching marine mammal population density estimation methods using recordings of whales and dolphins calls. I have used our lab's ocean glider in different sea experiments to collect data, and am learning different methods on how to analyze them. My field of research combines many areas of expertise such as mathematics, physics, biology, statistics, and engineering. If you'd like to know more about it and my career choices, don't hesitate to ask!
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Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
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My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
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