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NOAA Sea Grant and Fisheries announce 2019 Ecosystem and Population Dynamics Fellows

Sea Grant and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Fisheries) are pleased to announce the 2019 Fisheries-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship recipients. Eight population and ecosystem dynamics fellowships were awarded through a competitive selection process. The Fisheries-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship program supports students pursuing doctoral degrees in population and ecosystem dynamics as well as marine resources economics. The program is a focused workforce development effort to train highly qualified professionals in areas of critical need for NOAA’s science-based approach to fisheries management.


“Sea Grant is committed to workforce development in ocean and coastal fields. The Fisheries-Sea Grant fellowship provides critical support to students in the highly specialized field,” said Jonathan Pennock, Director, National Sea Grant College Program. “We are pleased that this successful program has once again connected with talented early career scientists to support their development. Congratulations to the fellows!”


Fellows are chosen through a competitive process that involves national review by an expert panel.

In 2008 the Departments of Commerce and Education released a report to Congress summarizing two studies that assessed future shortages in the fisheries science workforce. The report outlined a specific need for fisheries scientists with expertise in stock assessment and related fields as well as the need for a technical workforce development program. The field of population and ecosystem dynamics is critical to making high quality stock assessments in order to properly manage U.S. fisheries. Since the fellowship began, it has supported 100 population and ecosystem dynamics doctoral fellows. A 2018 review of the program found that 95% of fellows remain in their field and about 50% work for NOAA as a fisheries scientist.


Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellows:

Bethany Johnson

California Sea Grant
Empirical dynamic modeling for assessment and management of short-lived species
University of California, Santa Cruz  
Faculty Advisor: Marcella Gomez
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz 
NOAA Mentor: Stephan Munch


Emily Liljestrand

Michigan Sea Grant
Using simulation and application to evaluate the performance of state space stock assessment Models
Michigan State University
Faculty Advisor: James Bence
Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole
NOAA Mentor: Jonathan Deroba



John Best

Washington Sea Grant
Improving spatial indices of abundance with fishery-dependent and -independent data
University of Washington
Faculty Advisor: André Punt
Alaska Fisheries Science Center,
NOAA Mentor: James Thorson


Megan Feddern

Washington Sea Grant
Quantitative Ecosystem Chemistry: time series modeling of a century of coastal productivity and predator trophic position indicators derived from archival bone
University of Washington
Faculty advisor: Gordon Holtgrieve
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle
NOAA mentors: Eric Ward and Christopher Harvey


Claire Rosemond

Oregon Sea Grant
Linking ecosystem dynamics to stock assessment: reproductive potential informing fisheries management  
Oregon State University
Faculty Advisor: Scott Heppell
Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle and Newport 
NOAA Mentors: Jason Cope and Aaron Berger


Liese Carleton

Virginia Sea Grant     
Development of new depletion estimators to determine fish stock status with application to Gulf of Mexico red snapper   
Virginia Institute of Marine Science   
Faculty advisor: John Hoenig
Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Miami 
NOAA Mentor: Matthew Lauretta


Nicholas Grunloh

California Sea Grant  
Simulation driven Bayesian calibration of data weighting     
University of California, Santa Cruz  
Faculty advisor: Herbert Lee 
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Santa Cruz    
NOAA Mentor: E.J. Dick


Maia Sosa Kapur

Washington Sea Grant
Effects of spatial mis-specification in management strategy evaluation for Northeast Pacific Sablefish
University of Washington
Faculty advisor: André Punt
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay and Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle
NOAA Mentors: Dana Hanselman and Melissa Haltuch

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