scemfis logo
Home > People


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.

Sara Pace, SCeMFiS Administrative Assistant & Researcher

Sara Pace
Sara Pace - SCeMFiS Administrative Assistant & Researcher

Sara Pace currently serves as administrative assistant and researcher for SCeMFiS. After graduating with a Master's from the University of Southern Mississippi, Sara worked for the MS Department of Marine Resources as a scientist. Her job duties included performing routine sampling of finfish populations, performing quantitative analyses, developing recommendations for changes in regulations related to marine finfish and shellfish fisheries, and sharing this information with the general public and regulatory entities. Her current duties in SCeMFiS Operations are to support and assist the development of the Center under the direction of the directors and participate in research opportunities provided by SCeMFiS.




Karen Reay, SCeMFiS Web & Communications

Karen Reay
Karen Reay - SCeMFiS 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


Jim Gartland, Assistant Research Scientist, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Jim Gartland
Jim Gartland, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Jim Gartland received a B.S. degree in Marine Science & Biology from the University of Miami, and an M.S. degree in Marine Science from the College of William & Mary/VIMS. As an Assistant Research Scientist at VIMS, he is responsible for leading multiple fishery-independent monitoring surveys that operate throughout the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters of the Mid-Atlantic Bight, as well as a large laboratory operation focused on quantifying the age structure, trophic interactions, and reproductive potential of a variety of fishes inhabiting the region. The data derived from these efforts have been used to support a number of stock assessments, and to provide greater insight into the structure and functioning of these ecosystems. Much of the success of this program has been derived from the development of lasting cooperative/collaborative partnerships with the fishing industry. Mr. Gartland serves on several technical committees and advisory panels for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.  


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.


Rob Latour
Dr. Robert Latour - Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Robert J. Latour, Professor, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary

Dr. Latour has expertise in the areas of quantitative fisheries ecology, population dynamics, and stock assessment.  He received a B.A. in Mathematics from Western New England College, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Biomathematics from North Carolina State University.  At VIMS, he directs a large research group dedicated to the collection and analysis of fisheries-independent data for species inhabiting the Chesapeake Bay and mid-Atlantic Bight in support of traditional and ecosystem approaches to fisheries management. Focal research areas include the use of statistical and mechanistic models to understand patterns and drivers of fish population abundance, predator-prey interactions, and community structure.  Dr. Latour has also been involved in service activities through numerous appointments on technical committees within the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.


Robert Leaf
Dr. Robert Leaf - University of Southern Mississippi

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 - University of Southern Mississippi

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

Theresa 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.


Andrew Scheld, Assistant Professor, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Andrew Scheld
Dr. Andrew Scheld, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Dr. Andrew Scheld is a fisheries resource economist who uses models of human behavior, technology, and markets to better understand resource use, decision-making, and management in commercial and recreational fisheries. He received a B.S. in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts, an M.S. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington. His current areas of research include: valuation and behavioral analyses of recreational fisheries; estimating the economic costs associated with derelict fishing gear; evaluating the impacts of resource variability on commercial fishing fleet structure; and analyzing joint production and selectivity in multispecies fisheries. He teaches classes in marine resource economics, quantitative modeling, and sustainability and serves on the Committee on Economics and Social Sciences of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.


Patrick Sullivan, Professor, Cornell University

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

Kathleen Hemeon: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Kathleen Hemeon
Kathleen Hemeon, University of Southern Mississippi, holding an unarmored threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus williamsoni

Kathleen Hemeon is a first year PhD graduate student with Dr. Eric Powell at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab. Kathleen has earned a BS degree from Western Washington University and a MS degree from James Madison University. Kathleen joins GCRL from the west coast after working for several years as a U.S. Forest Service fisheries team lead and as a green sturgeon research technician with the University of California Santa Cruz/NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Past experience as a fisheries team lead included the monitoring, protection and restoration of federally listed aquatic populations and their habitat in parallel with local management directives. Green sturgeon research included estimating spawning run sizes for the federally threatened green sturgeon (southern DPS) in the Sacramento River using Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar. Current work with Dr. Powell and SCeMFiS collaborators will include the continued investigation of Mid-Atlantic ocean quahog population dynamics through the generation of an age-frequency probability distribution and applying this distribution to ocean quahog fishery stock projections. 

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.


Leanne Poussard: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Leanne Poussard
Leanne Poussard, University of Southern Mississippi


Leanne Poussard is starting her first year in the Master’s program at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. She will be working with Dr. Eric Powell studying ocean quahog and surfclam population dynamics and conducting an analysis of dredge efficiency in order to help improve future assessment. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's Degree in biology.


Laura Solinger
Laura Solinger, University of Southern Mississippi holding a lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus)

Laura Solinger: graduate student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Laura Solinger is a PhD student in Dr. Eric Powell’s Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL). Laura received her BS in Biology with a focus on Marine Science from the University of South Florida, and is currently finishing her MS in Fisheries Biology with Humboldt State University. In her Master's, she examined how oceanographic conditions in the Pacific relate to spatial heterogeneity in recruitment success of Chilipepper Rockfish. At GCRL, her work focusses on developing a risk-based approach to assess the effectiveness of different management strategies on fisheries resources, including summer flounder and Atlantic surfclam. After her PhD, Laura hopes to work with private and public fisheries organizations to develop stock assessment models, assess their effectiveness and continue advancements to incorporate new data sources and environmental variables into models.

Former Graduate Students

Taylor Daley

Taylor Daley, University of Southern Mississippi

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

Taylor Daley was the 4th SCeMFiS graduate and worked 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 traveled to New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island to obtain samples being collected by commercial fishers, Lunds and SeaFreeze. It was an excellent opportunity to collaborate with experts in the field, including NMFS experts in age and growth.” Taylor graduated in 2018 and has currently taken a job at the Department of the Interior in California.

Taylor generated the first biological data for chub mackerel in the Northwest Atlantic. Daley, T.T. Growth and reproduction of Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) in the northwest Atlantic. Master’s Thesis 2018

Taylor Daley attended the 6th International Otolith Symposium in Keelung, Taiwan April 2018. Daley, T.T., and R.T. Leaf. Age and Growth of Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) in the northwest Atlantic.

Daley, T. Growth and Reproduction of Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber Colias) in the Northwest Atlantic. (2018) University of Southern Mississippi.


Kelsey Kuykendall
Kelsey Kuykendall, USM

Kelsey Kuykendall: USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in 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."  Kelsey also served in SCeMFiS Operations after graduation.

- 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

Kuykendall, K. Management strategy evaluation for the Atlantic surfclam, Spisula solidissima, using a fisheries economics model. (2015). University of Southern Mississippi.


Jason Morson
Jason Morson, Rutgers University

Jason Morson: 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."

Dissertation - Understanding the Ecological Processes that Drive Patterns in Fishery Selectivity and Survey Catchability


Sara Pace
Sara Pace, USM

Sara Pace: USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in 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."

Pace, S.M., E.N. Powell, R. Mann. 2018. Two-hundred year record of increasing growth rates for ocean quahogs (Arctica islandica) from the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. J. Exp. Mar. Bio. Ecol. 503:8-22.

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

Poster from Spring Industry Advisory Board Meeting, April 2015

Pace, S. Evidence of multidecadal recruitment in ocean quahogs (Arctica islandica) in the western Atlantic Ocean. (2017). University of Southern Mississippi.

Update: Sara now works in Operations for SCeMFiS. See Operations Personnel for more info.


Jeremy Timbs
Jeremy Timbs, USM

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

Jeremy Timbs graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab. Timbs documented a long term decline in surfclam patchiness as the clams range shifts north and offshore with rising temperatures.

Timbs, J. Spatial Distribution and Stock-Recruitment Analysis of the Atlantic Surfclam, Spisula solidissima, in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and on Georges Bank. (2018) University of Southern Mississippi



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.”

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.


Khalil Russell: undergraduate student at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Khalil Russell
Khalil Russell, College of William & Mary

Khalil Russell is an undergraduate majoring in biology at the College of William and Mary. He is working with Dr. Roger Mann, VIMS as well as graduate student Chase Long, learning how to age bivalves using a technique to count growth rings in cut and polished shells. His eventual goal is to obtain a Ph.D. and become a professor of biology. Khalil was also selected as a W&M 1693 Scholar and is using his time at VIMS during the summer to better understand solutions to problems within the fishing industry.

Read more about Khalil in "Fish Story with a Twist: One Who Didn't Get Away" as well as the Education Spotlight




Jason Trumble: Veteran Research Supplement student at the USM Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Jason Trumble
Jason Trumble, USM

Jason M. Trumble is a second-degree seeking student at The University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Park, pursuing a B.S. in Biological Sciences (Licensure), with a minor in Mathematics. He is working with Dr. Powell at USM's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory as part of the National Science Foundation's Veteran Research Supplement program, helping to determine the age of samples Atlantic surfclams in order to determine the impact of climate change on extant populations. A 13 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force as a weather forecaster, observer, and curriculum developer,  Jason holds a B.S. in Geosciences (cum laude) with a concentration in Operational Meteorology from Mississippi State University, and an A.A.S. in Weather Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

Read more about Jason in the Education Spotlight


High School Students

Emma McKee
Emma McKee, Chesapeake Bay Governor's School

Emma McKee is a high school senior at Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine and Environmental Science and an intern in Dr. Roger Mann’s molluscan ecology laboratory at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. In addition to helping with current projects in Dr. Mann's lab, she is studying the cycles of growth in the long lived individual ocean quahog, Arctica islandica for her senior research project at CBGS. Through this internship she hopes to gain a knowledge of how a marine science laboratory works, how to properly write a research paper which uses data analyses, and how to operate various scientific tools used in research.

ESS Pursuit
F/V 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.