Meghan is a PhD student in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources, working to advance tools and methods for using environmental DNA (eDNA) to characterize marine biodiversity. Her work, at the intersection of biological oceanography and science & technology studies, seeks to center the human context of eDNA monitoring; she hopes to research both new scientific applications of eDNA as well as how stakeholders--from scientists to the general public--think about and engage with these applications.

Beyond her research, Meghan is a campus liaison for the Monterey Area Research Institutions' Network for Education (MARINE), co-founder of Stanford Ocean Networking And Research (SONAR), and co-organizer of the Stanford STS Graduate Workshop. She is also committed to teaching and mentoring the next generation of environmental scholars. In her free time, Meghan plays steel pan and accumulates house plants.

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Public Service Fellowship, Stanford Haas Center for Public Service (2020)
  • Rhodes Scholarship, Rhodes Trust (2017)
  • Goldwater Scholarship, Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation (2016)
  • Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (2015)

Education & Certifications

  • MPhil, University of Oxford, Nature, Society, and Environmental Governance (2019)
  • B.S., Stanford University, Environmental Systems Engineering (2017)

All Publications

  • Systematic review of marine environmental DNA metabarcoding studies: toward best practices for data usability and accessibility. PeerJ Shea, M. M., Kuppermann, J., Rogers, M. P., Smith, D. S., Edwards, P., Boehm, A. B. 2023; 11: e14993


    The emerging field of environmental DNA (eDNA) research lacks universal guidelines for ensuring data produced are FAIR-findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable-despite growing awareness of the importance of such practices. In order to better understand these data usability challenges, we systematically reviewed 60 peer reviewed articles conducting a specific subset of eDNA research: metabarcoding studies in marine environments. For each article, we characterized approximately 90 features across several categories: general article attributes and topics, methodological choices, types of metadata included, and availability and storage of sequence data. Analyzing these characteristics, we identified several barriers to data accessibility, including a lack of common context and vocabulary across the articles, missing metadata, supplementary information limitations, and a concentration of both sample collection and analysis in the United States. While some of these barriers require significant effort to address, we also found many instances where small choices made by authors and journals could have an outsized influence on the discoverability and reusability of data. Promisingly, articles also showed consistency and creativity in data storage choices as well as a strong trend toward open access publishing. Our analysis underscores the need to think critically about data accessibility and usability as marine eDNA metabarcoding studies, and eDNA projects more broadly, continue to proliferate.

    View details for DOI 10.7717/peerj.14993

    View details for PubMedID 36992947

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10042160

  • Animal Agriculture and Climate Change in the US and UK Elite Media: Volume, Responsibilities, Causes and Solutions. Environmental communication Kristiansen, S., Painter, J., Shea, M. 2021; 15 (2): 153-172


    Animal agriculture is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to 14.5% of global emissions, which is approximately the same size as the transportation sector. Global meat consumption is projected to grow, which will increase animal agriculture's negative impact on the environment. Public awareness of the link between animal food consumption and climate change is low; this may be one of many obstacles to more effective interventions to reduce meat consumption in Western diets, which has been proposed by many research institutions. This study analyzes how much attention the UK and US elite media paid to animal agriculture's role in climate change, and the roles and responsibilities of various parties in addressing the problem, from 2006 to 2018. The results of the quantitative media content analysis show that during that period, volume of coverage remained low, and that when the issue was covered, consumer responsibility was mentioned more than that of governments or largescale livestock farms. In similar fashion, a range of options around personal dietary change was far more prominent in the media discussion of solutions than government policies, reforming agricultural practices or holding major animal food companies accountable for their emissions.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/17524032.2020.1805344

    View details for PubMedID 33688373

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7929601

  • Power, the Pacific Islands, and the Prestige Press: A Case Study of How Climate Reporting is Influenced by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Summits INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRESS-POLITICS Shea, M. M., Painter, J., Osaka, S. 2021
  • Representations of Pacific Islands and climate change in US, UK, and Australian newspaper reporting CLIMATIC CHANGE Shea, M. M., Painter, J., Osaka, S. 2020
  • Tracing country commitment to Indigenous peoples in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS Shea, M. M., Thornton, T. F. 2019; 58
  • Adaptation and Resilience at the Margins: Addressing Indigenous Peoples' Marginalization at International Climate Negotiations ENVIRONMENT Comberti, C., Thornton, T. F., Korodimou, M., Shea, M., Riamit, K. 2019; 61 (2): 14–30
  • Occurrence of Host-Associated Fecal Markers on Child Hands, Household Soil, and Drinking Water in Rural Bangladeshi Households ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS Boehm, A. B., Wang, D., Ercumen, A., Shea, M., Harris, A. R., Shanks, O. C., Kelty, C., Ahmed, A., Mahmud, Z. H., Arnold, B. F., Chase, C., Kullmann, C., Colford, J. M., Luby, S. P., Pickering, A. J. 2016; 3 (11): 393-398