About my research:
My research interests include fisheries community ecology and the sustainable management of commercially important fish populations. As the world continues to become more populated, particularly in coastal areas, the need for responsible exploitation of marine resources is stronger than ever. I am especially interested in the use of ecosystem-based management and simulation modeling to better inform fisheries policy. While pursuing my Ph.D. at the College of Marine Science I will be working with Dr. Cameron Ainsworth and using Atlantis, a whole-ecosystem model that incorporates both biophysical and socioeconomic parameters, to evaluate potential management strategies for Gulf of Mexico fisheries and recommend robust solutions.
My first job following my undergraduate degree was working for the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office as a technician assisting with management issues and ecosystem modeling; my love for the work that I did there and the connections that I made led me to pursue a position in Dr. Ainsworth’s lab at USFCMS. I was very drawn to the reputation that USFCMS has earned for itself as a leading graduate institution of marine science, as well as the top-notch researchers and faculty that it attracts. In addition, the close proximity of professional agencies (e.g. NOAA, FWC) with which USFCMS maintains collaborative relationships is of great benefit to its graduate students. The faculty, staff, and students at USFCMS foster a wonderfully supportive research community where all are encouraged to learn and succeed. Also, as a born and raised northerner, it’s hard to beat the climate and scenery of south Florida as a place to live and study!