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SCeMFiS Center Directors & Operations

University faculty provide oversite and direction. They contribute their skills in research and their understanding of the knowledge base. Center Directors also are a major liaison with industry partners.

Eric Powell
Dr. Eric Powell - SCeMFiS Center Director

Eric Powell, SCeMFiS Center Director, University of Southern Mississippi (USM)

Dr. Eric Powell presently serves as the Director of SCeMFiS and oversees the primary site at the University of Southern Mississippi. Eric Powell has been an oceanographer/marine biologist for the past 34 years at Texas A&M University, Rutgers University, and USM.  Over that time, Powell has published 239 articles in refereed journals, including leading articles in the fields of meiobenthology, paleoecology and taphonomy, shellfish ecology, marine diseases, population dynamics modeling, and fisheries/resource management.  Powell is the leader or co-leader of several national programs including SSETI (Shelf and Slope Experimental Taphonomy Initiative), the NSF Ecology of Infectious Diseases group focused on shellfish diseases, and the USM/ODU modeling group. Powell is also a member of the NSF Ecology of Infectious Diseases Research Coordination Network.

In the role of Director of SCeMFiS, Powell has coordinated the establishment of two national assessment teams, one for finfish and one for marine mammals. A new model designed to achieve simultaneously a sustainable oyster fishery and a sustainable habitat developed by Powell and others is now under test in Louisiana.

Dr. Powell is the Chief Science Advisor for the NFI Clam Committee, and serves on a number of fisheries assessment groups including the Southern Demersal Working Group and the Invertebrate Subcommittee of the NMFS-NEFSC. Powell led the oyster assessment team at Rutgers for 17 years, developing the only peer-reviewed sustainable management program in the country for this species. As part of this program, Powell led an oyster restoration program that received the Coastal America 2008 Partnership Award from President Barak Obama for “the successful collaborative efforts between Federal, state, and local governments, as well as nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, in achieving an outstanding environmental victory for the Delaware Bay.”


Roger Mann, Professor of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and College of William and Mary and the Virginia Site Director of the Science Center for Marine Fisheries

Dr. Roger Mann

Dr. Roger Mann -
VIMS Site Director

Dr. Roger Mann hails from the United Kingdom where received a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of East Anglia, and a PhD in Marine Science from Bangor University. After post doctoral and staff appointments at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution he joined the VIMS faculty in 1985. He served as the VIMS Director of Research and Advisory Services from 2003 through 2012. His research interests include fisheries biology, marine ecology and physiology, invasive species biology and climate change. He has published over 130 journal contributions and edited several books. Molluscan Ecology Lab Website

SCeMFiS Operations

The duty of operations personnel is to support and assist in development of Center projects and coordinate many Center activities including the semi-annual IAB meetings.

Kelsey Kuykendall, SCeMFiS Administrative Assistant & Researcher

Kelsey Kuykendall
Kelsey Kuykendall - SCeMFiS Administrative Assistant & Researcher

Kelsey Kuykendall currently serves as administrative assistant and researcher for SCeMFiS. Kelsey has 5 years experience in working with SCeMFiS both as a researcher and operations member. She holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from The University of Southern Mississippi and a Master's in Coastal Science from The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL).  Kelsey was the first graduate to be funded by SCeMFiS. She hopes to bring a unique skill set to SCeMFiS that promotes growth of the Center through collaboration with industry and academic partners at meetings and events and also research projects funded by the Center.  Her main duties are to support and assist the development of Center under the direction of the directors and participate in research opportunities provided by SCeMFiS.




Karen Reay, SCeMFiS Web & Communications

Karen Reay
Karen Reay - Web & Communications

Karen Reay, CEO of Baywater Communications, brings experience in web design, strategic planning, marketing, data and information system development, coupled with scientific understanding to a variety of marine environmental agencies. Karen has over 25 years experience in working with government, academic agencies and industry. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Juniata College and a Master's in Marine Science from the College of William & Mary, School of Marine Science (VIMS).  Karen hopes to bring a unique skill set to SCeMFiS to promote growth of the Center through outreach, marketing and education.  Her main duties are to support and assist the development of Center projects and foster the collaborative relationship between the academic partners and industry members.

SCeMFiS Industry Advisory Board Officers

Each Center's Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), advises the Center's management on all aspects, from research project selection and evaluation, to strategic planning.

Guy Simmons
Guy Simmons - IAB Chair

Guy Simmons, Sea Watch International, IAB Chair

Guy B Simmons lives in Maryland on Hoopers Island in the Eastern Chesapeake Bay and is currently employed by Sea Watch International of Easton, MD and is the VP of Marketing and Product Development. Sea Watch is recognized as the largest processor of clams in the world. Guy started his career in the U.S. Domestic Offshore Clam Industry in 1982 with the American Original Corp. Over the past 30 years Guy has held positions in Quality Assurance, Environmental Affairs, Government Relations, Sales, Marketing and Product Development. Guy currently serves on the NFI BOD and as the Chairman of the NFI Clam Committee.



Greg DiDomenico
Greg DiDomenico - IAB Vice Chair

Greg DiDomenico, Garden State Seafood Association, IAB Vice Chair

Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director, Garden State Seafood Association. The Garden State Seafood Association (GSSA) advocates on behalf of New Jersey’s fishermen and fishing communities. Through closely monitoring regulatory developments, actively participating in the management process, and sharing the latest fisheries news and information with its members, GSSA holds our leaders accountable to the concerns and priorities of New Jersey’s hard working, historic fishing industry.

SCeMFiS Researchers

SCeMFiS researchers contribute their knowledge of both the technical needs of industry and the challenges associated with competing successfully in the marketplace. Researchers for SCeMFiS include finfish and shellfish biologists as well as experts in marine mammal populations.

Steve Cadrin, Associate Professor of Fisheries Oceanography, School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachussetts and Director of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute’s Education Program

Steve Cadrin
Dr. Steve Cadrin, University of Massachussetts - Dartmouth.

Steve has a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from University of Rhode Island, a M.S. in Marine Biology from University of Massachusetts and a B.S. in Marine Science from Long Island University. He was a stock assessment scientist for twenty years with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts Marine Fisheries and New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Steve's accomplishments include the advancement of stock assessment methods for a wide range of invertebrate and finfish species, development of harvest strategies for regional, national and international fishery resources, and global leadership in evaluating geographic stock structure and modeling spatially complex populations. His teaching and research agendas focus on population modeling, stock identification, fisheries management, collaborative research with fishermen, and application of advanced technologies for fishery science


Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University

Olaf Jensen
Dr. Olaf Jensen, Rutgers University

Dr. Olaf Jensen received a BA in Biology at Cornell University and an M.S. in Marine Science at the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Lab and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology. Of particular interest to SCeMFiS members is Dr. Jensen's work in meta-analysis of fishery stock assessments. Data from fisheries represent a tremendous opportunity to learn about the dynamics of populations, communities, and ecosystems as well as fisheries management (what works and what doesn’t). Raw catch data, unfortunately, can be misleading. Stock assessments, however, are often quite informative as they combine numerous sources of information to estimate the current and historical stock size and harvest rate. In collaboration with colleagues at Dalhousie University, the University of Washington, and several other universities and government labs throughout the world, we are building a global database of stock assessments.


Robert Leaf
Dr. Robert Leaf - Photo: USM

Robert Leaf, Assistant Professor at the Gulf Coast Research Lab, University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Robert Leaf joined GCRL in September of 2012 and has expertise in quantitative methods and computer-intensive modeling approaches. The goals of these analyses are to understand population regulation and appropriate and effective conservation and management strategies. Dr. Leaf received his Ph.D. in Fishery and Wildlife Sciences from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2010, where he studied how phenology of individuals in harvested populations were altered under size-selective fishing. As a post-doctoral researcher in NOAA’s “Fisheries and the Environment” program, Dr. Leaf examined how phytoplankton bloom phenology determined recruitment patterns in northeast Atlantic ground fishes. His current work involves assessment of Gulf Menhaden, Gulf of Mexico Blue Crab, and Mississippi’s Red Drum stock. He currently mentors two masters-level graduate students Robert Trigg and Stephanie Taylor.


Jean-Jacques Maguire - Independent Consultant, Halieutikos Inc

JJ Maguire

Jean-Jacques Maguire

J.J. has extensive experience in stock assessment and in the provision of fishery management advice. He worked for the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans from 1977 to 1996 and has been a consultant in fisheries science and management since 1996. He did stock assessments on cod (2 stocks), mackerel, redfish, pollock and bluefin tuna and reviewed stock assessments of numerous groundfish, small pelagic, large pelagic and invertebrate species. He has worked in advisory processes on the East coast of Canada and USA, in Europe, chairing the Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management (ACFM) of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) from 1996 to 1999 and more recently its Advisory Committee (2011 - 2013) which now provides not only fisheries advice but also advice on ecosystem and environmental issues. He worked closely with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations on the code of conduct for responsible fisheries, on guidelines for ecolabelling and on adapting CITES criteria for marine fishes. He was a member of the team reviewing the performance of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) and of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM). As a consultant he has worked for national and international, as well as fishing industry and environmental non-governmental organizations. J.J. is a member of the SCeMFiS Finfish Stock Assessment Team.


Dr. Paula Moreno - Photo: USM

Paula Moreno, Research Scientist, University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Dr. Paula Moreno established an advisory team for marine mammal assessment which also includes Dr. André Punt (University of Washington), and John Brandon (independent consultant).  Marine mammal-fisheries interactions are a serious concern of fishery and protected species management in most regions.  There are currently uncertainties in marine mammal stock abundance and bycatch estimates that urgently need to be addressed. More information on the marine mammal team can be obtained on the GCRL webpage.



Daphne Munroe, Assistant Professor, Haskin Shellfish Laboratory, Rutgers University

Dr. Daphne Munroe
Dr. Daphne Munroe, Rutger's University

Dr. Daphne Munroe studies spatial and temporal patterns of larval settlement in coastal and marine ecosystems and their influence on fished populations. Her approach to these questions uses a combination of computer modeling, field-based research and laboratory experiments. Daphne's research examines the intersection of large and small scale processes and how it translates to changes in fished stocks over time. Jason Morson was a graduate student working with Dr. Munroe on a SCeMFiS-related project looking at sex-ratios of summer flounder discards in the recreational fishing sector.


Geneviève Nesslage, Assistant Research Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Genny Nesslage
Dr. Geneviève Nesslage, UMCES CBL

Dr. Genny Nesslage is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Prior to her appointment at UMCES, she served as Senior Stock Assessment Scientist for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in Arlington, Virginia, and as an Assistant Professor of Vertebrate Ecology at Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on assessing fish and wildlife populations, modeling invasive species dynamics, and addressing resource management issues through the use of statistical modeling and estimation techniques. She received her B.S. in Biology from Cornell University; M.S. in Wildlife Biology and Management from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; and dual Ph.D. degrees in Fisheries & Wildlife and Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology & Behavior from Michigan State University.



Theresa Redmond, Laboratory Technician, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Teresa Redmond
Theresa Redmond, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Theresa Redmond became interested in marine science while growing up in Massachusetts where her family camped and owned a boat on the Connecticut River. She earned her BS in Marine Biology at the University of New England, Biddeford, ME. While there, she worked on several projects including collecting hydrographic and larval data on the distribution of the Northern Blue Mussel (Mytilus trossuslus) in and around the Eastern Maine Coastal Current, collection and analysis of the Saco River plume,assisted in field collections and morphological measurements of decapod crustaceans (Carcinus maenasCancer irroratus, and Homarus americanus) to be used in a prey preference study, and studied cyst formation in toxic dinoflagellates measured using epiflorescence microscopy and calcoflour white dye. Theresa obtained a MS in Marine Biology at NOVA Southern University, Dania Beach, Florida where she completed a thesis on long-term stony coral transplantation success offshore Southeast, Florida, USA. While there, she assisted in data collection and analysis for benthic monitoring, restoration and assessment of South Florida’s near shore reef habitats.  While a research assistant at VIMS, she has assisted in field set up, maintenance and electro-fishing of river herring in the Pamunkey River and analyzed Adaptive Resolution Imaging Sonar (ARIS) Explorer video of the river herring, assisted in tagging Atlantic Sturgeon within the Chesapeake Bay, and aided with organization of larval fish within the Nunnally Ichthyology Collection. Theresa is now working with Dr. Roger Mann to investigate shellfish aging and growth.


Patrick Sullivan, Professor, Cornell University

Dr. Pat Sullivan
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, Cornell

As a researcher Dr. Patrick Sullivan’s objective is to seek a new level of understanding about what drives the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural populations and communities and how they respond to anthropogenic influences. To do this he focuses on the second order effects displayed by these systems, which are typically displayed in patterns in the mean, variance and covariance of processes that can be used to tease out and identify important factors that define these systems. In addition to this he has an interest in and tries to contribute to other research areas including the practical issues surrounding survey design and analysis, database management, and fisheries stock assessment as well as some more philosophical issues such as identifying what is the nature of good science, determining better ways for communicating and utilizing science and statistics, and clarifying scientific responsibility in issues of governance.

Pat's research objective is to understand what drives the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural populations and communities and how they respond to anthropogenic influences, by focusing on patterns that can be used to tease out and identify important factors and processes that define these systems.

Benjamin Marcy-Quay was a student of Dr. Sullivan's who worked on a SCeMFiS-funded project related to sex specific modeling for summer flounder.


SCeMFiS Funded Students

Through innovative education of talented graduate and undergraduate students, the I/UCRCs are providing the next generation of scientists with a broad, industrially oriented perspective on research and practice.

Current Graduate Students

Jason Morson

Taylor Daley, University of Southern Mississippi

Taylor Daley: graduate student at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Taylor Daley is a technician at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. She will be transitioning into the Master’s program in August 2016 working with Dr. Robert Leaf studying the biostatistical and fishery characteristics of poorly characterized forage fish stocks from the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. Taylor says, "The SCeMFiS grant has provided me with the opportunity to work with a very a specialized network of academic and industry leaders from many institutions and groups. I will be traveling to New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island to obtain samples being collected by commercial fishers, Lunds and SeaFreeze. It is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field, including NMFS experts in age and growth.”

Chase Long
Chase Long with the Dameron-Kubiak Dredge in the background.

M. Chase Long: graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia

M. Chase Long entered the graduate program in the School of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in the fall of 2017. Chase worked as a laboratory specialist in Roger Mann’s molluscan ecology laboratory at VIMS for three years prior to becoming a student. During that time, he assisted with projects ranging from the identification of shell valve morphometry useful for determining the size of clams from broken shell pieces to refining sclerochronology techniques used to investigate the age structure and recruitment history of ocean quahog populations. As a student, he will continue to investigate the recruitment patterns, age structure, and growth variability within ocean quahog populations from the Mid-Atlantic Bight to Georges Bank.


Jeremy Timbs
Jeremy Timbs, USM

Jeremy Timbs: graduate student at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Jeremy Timbs is a Master’s student and Graduate Assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab. He originally began the pursuit of a Master's degree in Tennessee studying parasites of sharks. Jeremy transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi in January 2016 to work with Dr. Eric Powell as a Master's student. His thesis project involves a stock and recruitment analysis of Atlantic surfclam.

Former Graduate Students

Kelsey holding a large lobster
Kelsey Kuykendall, USM, holds a large lobster.

Kelsey Kuykendall: GCRL, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Kelsey Kuykendall was the first SCeMFiS-funded graduate in 2015. As a Master’s student at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, she began her degree in August of 2013 with Dr. Eric Powell studying area management of the Atlantic surf clam. She says she has experienced many new opportunities for both learning and expanding my understanding of the fisheries industry. Kelsey said, "I have had the chance to travel to many interesting places from Annapolis, Maryland, to New Bedford, New Hampshire. Along the way, I have seen a total of seven major cities in just my first semester. Not only has being a SCeMFiS grad student provided experience in travel, but it also provided a possibility to grow as a researcher by providing interactions with academic and industry leadership. I have met a variety of influences that help to clarify the many vague aspects of research from computer programmers to clam boat captains. SCeMFiS provided the opportunity to be a well-balanced student between experience and academics."  

- Management Strategy Evaluation for the Atlantic Surfclam (Spisula Solidissima), using a Fisheries Economics Model - the goal was to identify a preferred management option that promotes enhanced surfclam productivity and increased fishery viability as indicated by improvement in performance metrics.

- Poster from Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council Meeting, December 2013

- Identifying the Historical Footprint of the Surfclam Spisula solidissima and Habitat Relationships from a Long-Term Dataset of Death Assemblages and Sedimentology

- Captains' response to a declining stock as anticipated in the surfclam (Spisula solidissima) fishery on the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast by model evaluation

Update: Kelsey now works with Dr. Powell as a technician at GCRL and performs SCeMFiS research as well as administrative and operations duties.


Jason Morson
Jason Morson, Rutgers University

Jason Morson: graduate student at Rutgers University

Jason Morson was a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolution program at Rutgers University and a researcher at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory. Jason studied population dynamics, stock assessment, and fisheries management. For part of his dissertation, Jason worked to understand how we can account for sexually dimorphic characteristics in modeling population dynamics and in managing fisheries. Having worked with Dr. Daphne Munroe, his SCeMFiS-funded project examined the sex ratio of discarded fish in the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) recreational fishery. Jason said, "I appreciated having an opportunity to work cooperatively with industry stakeholders and understand, from their point of view, the most pressing issues facing assessment and management of marine resources."

Sara Pace
Sara Pace, USM

Sara Pace: GCRL, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Sara Pace was a Master’s student and Graduate Assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab and worked with Dr. Eric Powell to improve reference point formulations to reduce uncertainty in stock status in ocean quahogs. Sara says, "The SCeMFiS grant has provided me with the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Roger Mann at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, aging ocean quahogs for my thesis work. Being a SCeMFiS graduate student has given me the opportunity to obtain my Master’s degree while gaining valuable research experience, as I was exposed to both academic and industry interactions."

Evidence of multidecadal recruitment in the ocean quahog, Arctica islandica in the western Atlantic Ocean

Poster from Spring Industry Advisory Board Meeting, April 2015

Update: Sara now works for the MS Department of Marine Resources as a Finfish Contractor. Her job duties include performing routine sampling of finfish populations, performing quantitative analyses, developing recommendations for changes in regulations related to marine finfish fisheries, and sharing this information with the general public and regulatory entities.


Ryan Harner
Ryan Harner, Stockton University (courtesy Daphne Munroe, HSRL)

Ryan Harner: undergraduate student at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey

Ryan Harner is a Stockton University Environmental Science student with a Veteran's Research Supplement (VRS) through Rutgers University. He worked during the summer collecting summer flounder samples for the SCeMFiS project and will return in the spring to continue to do extra work on the summer flounder discard project. Ryan will be presenting the poster "Sex Ratio of Summer Flounder Discards in the Recreational Fishery" at the MidAtlantic Chapter of the American Fisheries Society in Bordentown, NJ, Oct. 27/28, 2016

Rachel Marshall
Rachel Marshall, Rutgers University (courtesy Daphne Munroe, HSRL)

Rachel Marshall: undergraduate student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Rachel Marshall was awarded runner up in the Rutgers REU (RIOS) program for the poster "Sex Ratio of Summer Flounder Discards in the Recreational Fishery." This poster presented data about the interim (mid-season) results. She was supported by the Rutgers REU in Ocean Sciences program.

Anja Ewing: undergraduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus, Mississippi

Anja Ewing
Anja Ewing, University of Southern Mississippi

Anja Ewing, a gulf coast native, is a senior at The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus, majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in psychology. She is working with Dr. Eric Powell and Kelsey Kuykendall entering and analyzing data on Atlantic surf clams and ocean quahogs. Anja says, “When this REU opportunity became available, I knew that it was a chance to be involved in something incredibly unique. The experience and knowledge I would obtain through this opportunity was something I knew I couldn’t pass up. I look forward to being able to evolve my technical skills, along with increase my knowledge of benthic ecology and climate change.”

ESS Pursuit
ESS Pursuit


Sara Pace and Chase Long
Above: Sara Pace and Chase Long next to the clam dredge "Christy" and Below: the fishing vessel "Jersey Girl" and at right "ESS Pursuit"
The FV Jersey Girl

SCeMFiS wishes to thank the captains and crew of the fishing vessels: Pursuit, Betty Sue, Jersey Girl and Christy for their long days and nights of hard work on the Atlantic Ocean.