Michael's introduction to research occurred when he spent a summer on an uninhabited Maine island where he developed methods to census nesting seabirds using UAVs (drones). He subsequently conducted research in Costa Rica and completed his undergraduate thesis with the SBC LTER group at UC Santa Barbara on the secondary productivity of beach invertebrates. During this time he also worked as first mate on a research vessel operated by his undergraduate institution the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. He graduated with a B.A. in 2019 and now works with Max Castorani and the Virginia Coastal Reserve LTER employing field manipulations and remote sensing to study the community ecology of coastal marine systems.