Faces of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center Series
Here we introduce the people who work at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center.
In this series, we feature a new "face" from the Center and share with you a bit about who they are and what they do here.
Meet our staff featured in 2022
Meet our staff featured in 2021
Research Fishery Biologist
I conduct research on fisheries habitat with students at Savannah State University. This research forms the basis of student training and supports the mission of our branch. Over the years, my research students and I have looked at the distribution of blue crab populations in Georgia tidal creeks, marsh dieback, and success in oyster reef restoration. We got interested in the human dimensions of fisheries, examined the prevalence of black gill in shrimp, and the perspective of shrimpers encountering the disease. This connection to the local community spread to more cultural work examining how Gullah Geechee communities participate in fisheries. Savannah State is also a Historically Black College and University (HBCU)—and the only one with a partnership with NOAA Fisheries. I also liaise between the center, university, the agency, and other entities who want to emulate and recreate the effectiveness of this unique partnership.
Chief of Staff for Science Planning and Operations
As the Chief of Staff for Science Planning and Operations, I support the leadership of the center by making recommendations and providing timely and informed guidance in support of the center's mission. I help ensure success of the center’s recent realignment and lead the evolving strategic planning process, aligning the strategic objectives and initiatives with budget planning and execution. I coordinate with Operations, Management, and Information Division to implement the annual budget planning process, Priority Based Resourcing, and ensure effective allocation of resources in alignment with annual guidance priorities.
I work with the small-but-mighty communications team. Our primary goal is to take the diverse complexity of science communications and translate it into language that the public understands. Each day I take the hard work that our scientists do at the center and get it known, as well as understood, by other stakeholders and the public. The team and I do this through talking with colleagues, creating web stories, social media posts, blogs, fact sheets, story maps, website updates, and other digital communications.
Oceanic and Coastal Pelagics Branch Chief
I serve as the Chief for the Oceanic & Coastal Pelagics Branch in the Population and Ecosystems Monitoring Division. I have the pleasure of working with nine outstanding scientists based primarily in Miami and Pascagoula. Our work includes the annual SEFSC Bottom Longline Survey, managing the Cooperative Tagging Program for highly migratory species, and conducting electronic tagging research on billfishes, tunas, sharks and rays. I started with the center in May of last year, so much of the past few months has entailed getting to better know our team.
Research Fishery Biologist
After college, I got a job at Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi putting on shows with dolphins and sea lions and eventually training them for 2 years. I started looking for other jobs and submitted my resume to the NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center located in Pascagoula, Mississippi. When the call came from NOAA, I was repairing and restoring antique furniture in an antique store specializing in English antiques on Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, I am the senior video reader for the Gulf and Caribbean Reef Fish Branch. However, I have done a lot of different things in my career with NOAA since starting in May 1988.
In 2012, I began working for the center as an affiliate. My work entailed reef fish life history and data analysis for the Biology and Life History group whose work centered around fish species. Then in 2016 I was hired by the center to continue that work based out of the NOAA facility in Beaufort, North Carolina. Currently, my work centers around reef fish life history. I provide the data products to stock assessments, take part in surveys and I have been involved in multiple Marine Fisheries Initiative projects. Most recently, I completed a NOAA LANTERN detail as the chief of staff for the center.