Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Meet Shannon Cass-Calay, Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Division

September 30, 2021

As part of the Faces of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center series, meet Dr. Shannon Cass-Calay.

Shannon Cass-Calay on webinar Dr. Shannon L. Cass-Calay in her “natural habitat” - a virtual webinar. Photo courtesy of Shannon Cass-Calay.

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Livonia, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. I had a creek in my back yard that provided endless entertainment. 

Shannon enjoying the great outdoors.
View of the great outdoors enjoyed by Shannon. Photo courtesy of Shannon Cass-Calay.

Where did you go to school and in what subject did you get your degree(s)? Or what subject did you study?

I got my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Marine Sciences from the University of Miami in 1991. I completed my Doctorate in 2000 in Biological Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego - Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I studied the effects of prey availability and physical variables on the feeding and growth of larval Pacific Hake.

How did you come to work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center?

In 2001, I completed a National Research Council (NRC) postdoc at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. I was looking for a full time position near family since I had a 2 year-old and another on the way. Because I had completed my undergraduate degree in Miami, and my husband grew up in Coconut Grove, it was an attractive place to be.

What do you do at the science center?

Shannon leaning against a red Fiero while holding a toy red Fiero
Shannon, Fiero enthusiast since 1986. Photo courtesy of Shannon Cass-Calay.

During 20 years at the science center, I have conducted numerous stock assessments of marine fish in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, including:

  • Red snapper
  • Red grouper
  • Yellowedge grouper
  • Vermilion snapper
  • King mackerel
  • Yellowfin, bigeye, and bluefin tunas

Since 2018, I have served as the Director of the Sustainable Fisheries Division.

Shannon Cass-Calay and others before the Miami half marathon.
Shannon (left) and Vivian Matter (right) preparing for the Miami Half Marathon. Yes, we did finish! Photo courtesy of Shannon Cass-Calay.

What do you like most about your position?

Stock assessment work tends to require extensive cooperation with staff at the science center, academic partners, fisheries managers and stakeholders. It’s enormously collaborative and we operate within a dedicated, skilled and supportive team. It’s typically a pleasure to work with our colleagues and partners. I enjoy that our work is of service to the marine resources we manage as well as the fishing community. There are challenges to working directly with managers and the fishing community, but there are also advantages. We frequently have the opportunity to participate in outreach and education events. These have been very productive and satisfying. We find that the fishing community has a great deal of information and experience that we can benefit from.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Is there anything outside of work? Just kidding. I have two adult children and a husband that I like to spend time with. I also like to paint with watercolors, play the flute, garden, hike in the woods, take care of pets (dog, two cats, bearded dragon) and I try to stay healthy by “running.” Note the quotation marks.

Shannon Cass-Calay pet and watercolor art.
Hobbies I enjoy out of work - watercolor painting, pets and the great outdoors. Photo courtesy of Shannon Cass-Calay.


Contact Shannon

Last updated by Southeast Fisheries Science Center on October 04, 2021