Ashley was raised in the high desert of Sedona, Arizona and escaped to the sea as soon as she was old enough. She developed a love for the oceans when she began scuba diving as a teenager and this has led to a career intertwined with the sea. Her simultaneous career as marine scientist and undersea specialist have given her opportunities to explore the kelp forests of California's Channel Islands, the coral reefs of the Florida Keys, and the rocky reefs of the west coast spanning from Monterey Bay to the Oregon Coast to British Columbia, the fjords of southeast Alaska, and the ultimate cold water of Antarctica.
Early in her career, she worked tagging and tracking fishes in Southern California and at the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory in the Florida Keys. After receiving a master’s degree in Applied Marine Ecology at California State University Monterey Bay, she worked on a variety of scuba and underwater video-based projects monitoring the growing network of marine protected areas in California. Her recent work with Oregon’s Marine Reserve program has guided her understanding of marine conservation further north along the west coast. She is an AAUS research diver, NAUI SCUBA Instructor, and lover of cold-water diving (though a dip in warmer waters is never declined).
Throughout her career and education, she has endeavored to improve her skills of communicating science to a variety of audiences. She believes that by sharing her knowledge about the world beneath the sea and our efforts to conserve it, she can bring the appreciation she feels about the oceans to the rest of the world.