I first heard about diatoms in my limnology class as an undergraduate student at Florida International University and since first learning about them I have been mesmerized by their intricacies. I began taxonomically identifying diatom species after graduating with a B.S and B.S.A in Biology by obtaining a technical position in the periphyton analysis lab at my university. My work with diatoms has fueled my desire to understand more about their differences in morphology and their autecological preferences. Therefore, I decided to pursue a master's degree in Biology with the guidance of Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, a renowned diatomist. Currently I am proposing a study that will help scientist understand the importance of coastal carbon flux mediation in coastal areas experiencing sea-level rise due to salt-water intrusion. I will be using diatoms as possible indicators of carbon flux gradients in sediments of Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands in Southeast Florida. I will also be analyzing the short-term and long-term effects of periphyton on soil accretion rates in coastal areas that exhibit changes in diatom assembly due to changes in soil chemistry.