Lauren Rust founded LMMN in 2017. She received her BS in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston in 2004 followed by her MSc in Ecology from the University of Wales, UK. Before founding LMMN, Lauren managed the research department at The Marine Mammal Center in CA managing the necropsy lab, various research projects and leading the large whale recovery team. Lauren has also worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responding to sick and injured marine mammals in South Carolina and the Environmental Specimen Bank at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) here in Charleston. She's passionate about marine mammal research and education and hopes to bring a greater awareness about Charleston's local dolphin population to the Lowcountry.
Brooke holds a B.S. in Marine Science from California State University-Monterey Bay. Her background is in marine science education and research. For 8 years she was involved with the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA), first starting as a guide in the education department, then later worked as a maintenance SCUBA diver and an Underwater Explorers Instructor (This refers to summer program for kids 8-11: educational kinesthetic surface SCUBA experience where kids are taught all about the intertidal zone and the many critters who call it home.) She is a certified NAUI Divemaster and AAUS Research Diver. Using these certifications she has helped and led many different research projects. These projects range from studying zooplankton in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, seastar wasting syndrome in the Monterey Area, coral reef health in Palau, kelp forests, algae, and so on. She moved to South Carolina in June and began in the education department of the South Carolina Aquarium as an education interpreter. While she continues to work part-time at SCA, she is also the stranding outreach coordinator for Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network. With LMMN, she organizes education & outreach events, manages social media, and organizes volunteer opportunities. Her passion is marine education and conservation.