Marissa commenced her undergraduate work at CSU Long Beach in 2006 and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology. Along the way she studied at Murdoch University in Perth Australia, the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island and the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island. She also worked as a research facilitator for the aquatic nursery at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, and she is currently a graduate student at CSU Fullerton earning a Master of Science in biology with an emphasis in marine ecology.
She started working for the Aquarium as a volunteer in 2015, became an Assistant Aquarist in 2016 and was promoted to Aquarist Manager in 2019. She is learning from and enjoying her work. Marissa, who grew up in southern California, is living happily with her husband in the cozy town of Tustin. Her favorite thing to do is curl up and read a good book with a steaming mug of tea.