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Nicholas Farmer, PhD

Nicholas Farmer, Ph.D.

Branch Chief
Species Conservation Branch
Species Conservation Branch
Office: 727-551-5759
Email: nick.farmer@noaa.gov

Nicholas Farmer, Ph.D.

Branch Chief

Dr. Farmer’s interests are in the intersection of science and management policy.  His expertise includes data analysis and visualization, reef fish tracking and marine reserve designs, fisheries catch forecasting, bioenergetics modeling, population consequences of disturbance, and reef fish spawning ecology. 

He earned his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami in 2009. 

From 2009-2018, he worked as a data analyst for the Sustainable Fisheries Division at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, implementing the Magnuson-Stevens Act and National Environmental Policy Act through statistical modeling of proposed management alternatives. 

He is currently the Chief of Species Conservation for the Protected Resources Division, implementing the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act through the supervision of new listings, species recovery programs, and research for smalltooth sawfish; giant manta rays; oceanic whitetip and scalloped hammerhead sharks; shortnose, Atlantic, and Gulf sturgeon; and Johnson's seagrass. 

His current research includes acoustic monitoring of reef fish spawning aggregations, fishery-independent monitoring of reef fish populations, species distribution models for protected species, dynamic stock assessment projection management decision tools, the population consequences of multiple stressors for endangered cetaceans, and satellite tracking of giant manta rays.

Academic Credentials

· Ph.D. (Marine Biology & Fisheries, 2009): University of Miami Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL (Award of Academic Merit)

· B.S. (Honors Biology, 2001): Trinity University, San Antonio, TX (Summa Cum Laude)

· B.A. (English, 2001): Trinity University, San Antonio, TX (Summa Cum Laude)


·Supervisory Fishery Biologist, NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (2018-current)

·Fishery Biologist, NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office (2009-current)

·University of Miami Doctoral Fellow, University of Miami (2001-2002, 2006-2008)

·ASEE NDSEG Doctoral Fellow, University of Miami (2002-2006)

·National Science Foundation Research Fellow, University of Hawaii (2000)


Erisman B, Heyman W, Kobara S, Biggs C, Grüss A, Karnauskas M, Lowerre-Barbieri S, Bolser D, Brenner J, Farmer N. 2018. Cooperative Monitoring Program for Spawning Aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico: An Assessment of Existing Information, Data Gaps, and Research Priorities. NOAA RESTORE Science Program–Final Report, Award Number NA15NOS4510230, November2018. 32pp.

Chagaris D, Sagarese S, Farmer N, Mahmoudi B, de Mutsert K, Vanderkooy S, Patterson III WF, Kilgour M, Schueller A, Ahrens R, Lauretta M. 2019. Management challenges are opportunities for fisheries ecosystem models in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Policy, 101:1-7.

Powell JR, Machernis AF, Engleby LK, Farmer NA, Spradlin TR. 2018. Sixteen years later: An updated evaluation of the impacts of chronic human interactions with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Panama City, Florida, USA. Journal of Cetacean Res. Management, 19:79-93.

Farmer NA, Baker K, Zeddies DG, Denes SL, Noren DP, Garrison LP, Machernis A, Fougéres EM, Zykov M. 2018. Population consequences of disturbance by offshore oil and gas activity for endangered sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Biological Conservation, 227:189-204.

Farmer NA, Noren DP, Fougeres EM, Machernis A, Baker K. 2018. Resilience of endangered sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to foraging disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, USA: A bioenergetics approach. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 589:241-261.

Farmer NA, Heyman WD, Karnauskas M, Kobara S, Smart T, Ballenger J, Reichert M, Wyanski D, Tishler MS, Lindeman KC, Lowerre-Barbieri S, Switzer T, Solomon J, McCain K, Marhefka M, Sedberry GR. 2017. Timing and location of reef fish spawning activity in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern United States. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0172968.

Farmer NA, Ault JS. 2017. Accounting for detection gaps when evaluating reef fish habitat use in an acoustic array. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 10.1139/cjfas-2016-0494.

Farmer NA, Gowan TA, Powell JR, Zoodsma BJ. 2016. Evaluation of alternatives to winter closure of black sea bass pot gear: projected impacts on catch and risk of entanglement with right whales. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, 8(1): 202-221.

Farmer NA, Malinowski RP, McGovern MF, Rubec PJ. 2016. Stock complexes for fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, 8(1): 177-201.

Farmer NA, Froeschke JT. 2015. Forecasting for recreational fisheries management: What's the catch? NAJFM, 35(4):720-735.

Adimey NM, Hudak CA, Powell JR, Bassos-Hull K, Foley A, Farmer NA, White L, Minch K. 2014. Fishery gear interactions from stranded bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees and sea turtles in Florida, U.S.A. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 81: 103-115.

Farmer NA, Ault JS. 2014. Modeling Coral Reef Fish Home Range Movements in Dry Tortugas, Florida. The Scientific World Journal, 2014: 629791 (14 pp).

Farmer NA, Karnauskas M. 2013. Spatial distribution and conservation of speckled hind and warsaw grouper in the Atlantic Ocean off the southeastern U.S. PLoS One, 8(11): e78682.

Farmer NA, Ault JS, Smith SG, Franklin EC. 2013. Methods for assessment of short-term coral reef fish movements within an acoustic array. Movement Ecology 2013, 1:7.

Feeley MW, Morley D, Acosta A, Switzer T, Farmer NA, Ault JS. 2012. Spillover of select reef fish species in and near the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area. In: Implementing the Dry Tortugas National Park Research Natural Area Science Plan: The 5-Year Report. Final Report to the National Park Service and Florida FWC.

Farmer NA, Ault JS. 2011. Movements and habitat use of groupers and snappers in the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 433: 169-184.

Farmer NA. 2010. Connecting with the Dry Tortugas. Quest, 11(3): 7-11.

Farmer NA. 2009. Reef Fish Movements and Marine Reserve Designs. Doctoral Dissertation: University of Miami. 196 pp.

Ault JA, Humston R, Larkin MF, Perusquia E, Farmer NA, et al. 2008. Population dynamics and resource ecology of Atlantic tarpon and bonefish. In: Ault, J.S. (ed.) Biology and Management of the World Tarpon and Bonefish Fisheries. CRC Press, Boca Raton. 442 p.

Ault JS, Smith SG, Farmer NA, Schmidt T. 2007. Fishery-independent monitoring of coral reef fishes, coral reefs, and macro-invertebrates in the Dry Tortugas. Final Report to NPS. 95 p.

Farmer NA, Ribble DO, Miller DG. 2004. The role of familiarity in the schooling behavior of Cyprinid fishes. Journal of Fish Biology, 64(3): 776-782.