Nicole Yen’s research focuses on using phylogenetic tools to investigate the evolution and biogeography of dorvilleid polychaetes found in Eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents, seeps, and whale-falls. Other research projects she has been involved with include working with bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, chimpanzees, gorillas, giant pandas, and burrowing owls through institutions such as the San Diego Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Yen has led discussion sections in the courses Urban Ecology, Environmental Issues, and Marine Invertebrates Lab at UC San Diego. She also served as a graduate student educator for the Birch Aquarium and is actively involved in STEAM outreach programs for K-12 students. Yen earned a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a focus in ecology, behavior, and evolution from UC San Diego. In 2019, Yen also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from University of Southern California.