Becker is a M.S. candidate in the Intercampus Marine Science program. Her research focuses on spatial ecology and movement patterns of great barracuda (Syphraena barracuda) in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. and Culebra, Puerto Rico.
During summer fieldwork barracuda are caught and tagged with VEMCO acoustic transmitters, which emit a unique digitally coded ping. Corresponding arrays of VEMCO acoustic receivers, designed to detect and record these pings, are deployed at both study sights and are periodically downloaded to access detection data. Capture methods include trolling and sight casting with synthetic lures. When fish are caught, tagging is completed via a small surgical procedure. Fish recover rapidly and are released when they demonstrate strong, normal swimming patterns. Tagging for this project was conducted in May–June of 2013 and 2014.