• NOAA EPP LMRCSC Student Fellows

    Cohort One

    Graduate Fellows

    TyRaeFreemanTyRae Freeman,NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at DSU
    Master of Business Administration 

    TyRae's research focuses on evaluating seafood demand and understanding how it can drive an increase in aquaculture production. Freeman is from Jacksonville, Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Delaware State University. Currently, she is working on a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in CPA (Certified Public Accountant) prep. 

       
    BrianGalvezBrian Galvez, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at DSU
    Master of Science in Natural Resources, Fisheries
    Brian is currently working under Dr. Stacy Smith at Delaware State University where he is studying feeding ecology of Atlantic weakfish in the Delaware Bay. He attended Humboldt State University for his undergrad where he received his degree in marine fisheries biology.  Brian is passionate about fisheries science, and would love to get involved in anything that he can with regards to fisheries. 

     

    ShadaeshaGreenShadaesha Green, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMCES-IMET
    Marine, Estuarine Environmental Science
     
    Shadaesha is currently a Ph.D. student in the MEES graduate program at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science-Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (UMCES-IMET). Upon entrance into graduate school she received the two-year Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program (LSAMP) Bridge-to-Doctorate Fellowship Award. Shadaesha is currently in her third year studying under the advisory of Dr. J. Sook Chung. Her research is focused on crustacean physiology and endocrinology using the red deep-sea crab, Chaceon quinquedens, as her species of interest. Specifically, her research will investigate the reproductive biology of females placing an emphasis on characterizing putative hormonal reproductive regulators. Her work also extends to studying the genetic structure of red deep-sea crab population along the coast of the United States. The ultimate goal of her research is to gain an understanding of the reproductive endocrinology of female red deep-sea crab throughout various life phases and to delineate the current genetic diversity populations of this species. Shadaesha is a graduate of Hampton University, where she received a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science and a minor in Biology. 

    Emily GriffinEmily Griffin, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at SSU
    Marine Science 

    Emily Griffin graduated from Central Michigan University in 2015 with her B.S. degree in Natural Resources Biology. She is currently working toward her M.S. degree in Marine Sciences at Savannah State University under Dr. Tara Cox. Emily's current work is an evaluation of the southern boundary of the Northern Georgia/Southern South Carolina Estuarine System stock of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) using genetic analyses. This project combines genetics and long-term sighting data collected through photo-identification to examine stock structure

    Ammar Hanif Web BioAmmar Hanif, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMCES-IMET
    Marine Estuarine Environmental Science
    Ammar is a doctoral student in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science program under Rose Jagus, Ph.D., at the University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science - Institute of Marine and Environmental Science. His research focuses on using molecular techniques and bioinformatics as tools to study the marine environment and answer ecological questions. Currently he is looking into the diet and microbiome of menhaden and other marine invertebrates. His expertise includes extracting DNA from difficult samples, marine and estuarine ecology, handling large datasets, bioinformatics, and analyzing high-throughput sequencing results of microbial community using statistical methods. 


    Amanda LawrenceAmanda Lawrence, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMCES-IMET
    Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science 
    Amanda is a MEES student studying Molecular Environmental Biotechnology at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. She has transitioned into a full time doctoral student under the advisors Drs. Sook Chung and Rosemary Jagus. Amanda will be investigating the function of eIF4E family members in blue crab reproductive and molt cycles. Amanda was recently selected as the IMET 2017-2018 NIST Fellow which will provide one to two years of support. She received her dual B.S. in Biology and Environmental Marine Science at Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 


    Stephanie-Martinez-RiveraStephanie Martinez-Rivera,NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES

    Marine, Estuarine Environmental Science
    Bio: Stephanie received her B.S. in Coastal Marine Biology in 2012 from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus. She joined the LMRCSC in January 2014 under the advisement of Dr. Bradley Stevens. Her research focuses on reproductive biology and histology of deep-sea red crabs (Chaceon quinquedens). Stephanie's research interests are in fisheries management, ecology and population dynamics of crustaceans.

    Cristin MayesCristin Mayes, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at Hampton University
    Applied Mathematics

    With a particular interest in fisheries and statistical modeling, Cristin is pursuing her M.S. in Applied Mathematics at Hampton University where she plans to develop a discrete-time predator-prey mathematical model involving sea surface temperature effects on piscivore and planktivore species.  Upon completion of her master's, Cristin hopes to continue research in marine science and mathematical relations either in industry or higher learning. Cristin Mayes obtained her B.S. in Mathematics from Hampton University December 2016.     



    Angie MungiaAngie Mungia, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at OSU 
    Fisheries Science
    Angie Munguia is currently working on her M.S. degree in Fisheries at Oregon State University. She is working with OSU's Jessica Miller, Ph.D. and NOAA scientist Laurie Weitkamp, Ph.D., on juvenile Chinook salmon use of the Columbia River estuary.  Her current research interests lie in estuarine ecology, food web dynamics, and salmonid habitat restoration. She received an undergraduate degree in Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity from UC Davis.


    HalieOFarrellHalie O'Farrell, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at RSMAS
    Marine Biology and Fisheries

    Halie received a B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami RSMAS in 2013. She is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami RSMAS under Dr. Elizabeth Babcock. Halie's current work aims to determine if the spatial structure of shark populations matters to fisheries sustainability and to evaluate the ability of available data to address this question. Her work includes exploring how different sexes and life stages are distributed, how this distribution affects which fishery each group comes into contact with, and how management can address the resulting variation in mortality.

    RosalesDetbra Rosales, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES
    Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science

    Detbra graduated from Binghamton University with her B.S. degree in Environmental Studies in 2010. She also attended Brooklyn College and received a M.A. degree in Biology in 2012, after which she enrolled at UMES. She works with Dr. Joseph Pitula on a project that is examining the impacts of harmful dinoflagellates and Vibrio sp. in oyster aquaculture sites in the Delaware Inland Bays.  


    Rebecca-WenkerRebecca Wenker, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at UMES
    Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science
    Rebecca graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 2015 with a B.A. in Biology. Her senior thesis focused on a reassessment of management strategies for the Great Barrier Reef, taking a functional group approach. With her advisor Dr. Bradley Stevens, she is currently assessing the age, density, and extent of damage to essential habitat forming cold-water corals in the DelMarVa region of the Mid-Atlantic Bight from fished vs. unfished sites. This will help determine whether fishing has a negative impact, and uncover potential patterns and/or impacts over larger scales of time and space. 

     

    Undergraduate Fellows

    Chryston-BestOtubuChryston Best-Otubu, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES 
    Chryston Best-Otubu is a sophomore at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This summer he participated in the 2017 REU program at UMES, working with mentor Dr. Ali Ishaque and graduate student Abdalhafiz Ahemedaltayb. His research focused on the process of bioaccumulation of heavy metals in seawater, sediments, and Crabs in the Maryland Coastal Bay areas. He plans on obtaining a bachelor's in Environmental Science (Marine Science concentration) and a master's degree in Marine Science while at UMES, followed by a Ph.D. degree. 


    NakiaCoit-WebBioNakia CoitNOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES
    Nakia Coit is a rising junior at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This summer she is participating in the REU program at UMES, working with Dr. Pitula and graduate student Kristin Noelle. Her project focuses on the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus and how it impacts oysters. In the future, her goal is to attend Tuskegee University to obtain a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine. As a veterinarian, she will work with terrestrial and marine animals. She also plans to produce documentaries about the animals she works with and new discoveries. Nakia is from Baltimore, Maryland.

    Ileana FenwickIleana Fenwick, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at HU
    Ileana Fenwick is an undergraduate Marine and Environmental Science student at Hampton University. Her past research was focused on black sea bass health under Dr. Brad Stevens at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. This semester she will continuing to do research as an LMRCSC Fellow at her home by the sea, Hampton University.



    Nylah-WebBioNylah McClainNOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES
    Nylah McClain is a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  This summer she is participating in the 2017 REU program at UMES, working with mentor Dr. Ali Ishaque and graduate student Chelsea Richardson. Her research involves analyzing the gut content, stable isotopes, and fatty acids of the summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus. This information will be used in creating a dynamic food web of the Maryland Coastal Bays. Nylah's future endeavors include completing her Bachelor of Science degree and attending graduate school to complete her master's degree. Concerning her career path, Nylah aspires to work as an environmental scientist for NOAA or the Peace Corp.
     

    IndiaOliver-WebBio

    India Oliver, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES
    India Oliver is a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She worked with Dr. Ligia DaSilva throughout the academic school year sorting different species of zooplankton and doing nutrient analysis.  She is participating in the summer 2017 REU program at Savannah State University, where she is working with Dr. Chandra Franklin. Her REU research project focuses on how seasonal changes affect the starch content in the rhizomes of Spartina alterniflora, a salt marsh plant. In the future, she plans to finish her Bachelor of Science degree at UMES, attend graduate school for a master's degree and someday work for NOAA as a research biologist. India is from Cleveland, Ohio.  

    IsaiahMiltonIsaiah Milton, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at HU
    Isaiah Milton is currently in his second year in the Marine and Environmental Science program at Hampton University. This summer he participated in the REU program at UMES, working with Dr. Parveen. His project focused on the Prevalence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in blue crabs and seawater of the Maryland Coastal Bays. Isaiah's future goals include finishing his Bachelor of Science degree at Hampton University and attending graduate school to obtain his PhD. In the future Isaiah aspires to work as an environmental scientist focusing on sustainability. Isaiah is from Boston, Massachusetts. 

    Darius Sanford, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at SSU
    Darius-Sanford-webDarius Sanford is currently in his fourth year of study in the Marine Science Program at Savannah State University. In May of 2018, he will graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Marine Sciences. Darius is a research technician in the Benthic Lab at Savannah State University. As an LMRCSC scholar, he conducted a project to evaluate oyster reef elevation as a conservative measure in reef monitoring. He later presented his findings at the 2017 SSU Annual Research Conference and was awarded runner-up for best presentation in the marine science category. As an NSF Bridge to Research in Marine Sciences REU intern, Darius analyzed the proposed rule that allowed for the use of weighted marker buoys within Gray's Reef National Marine. He has also engaged in several outreach programs geared towards increasing marine and environmental science literacy.  These programs range from marsh tours with local public schools in Savannah to educating other at Savannah State University's booth on the Skidaway Institute's Annual Marine Science Day. After graduation, Darius plans to obtain a degree in environmental law. He is interested in marine policy, Oyster restoration projects, and marine outreach.

    MalisaSmithMalisa SmithNOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES
    Malisa Smith is a rising junior at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She will obtain a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2019. She is currently working in Dr. Joseph Pitula's lab, where her goal is to compare the stomach microbial communities of Eastern oyster and Atlantic menhaden using molecular and bioinformatic tools. She is shadowing Ammar Hanif, a doctoral student in Dr. Rosemary Jagus' lab at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. She is interested in learning common molecular techniques used in studying microbial communities such as DNA extraction, PCR/q-PCR, gel electrophoresis and cloning.

    Nefertiti SmithNefertiti Smith, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at HU 
    Nefertiti Smith is in her third year at Hampton University studying marine and environmental science. She is interested in the functions and structures in the ocean along with the environmental impacts humans have on the ocean. Her recent research experience includes understanding how morbillivirus have affected bottlenose dolphins over the past 25 years, as well as studying how different methods of assessing herbivory in coral reef ecosystems may affect results.  

    Cohort 2

    Graduate Fellows

    Laura-AlmodovarLaura Almodóvar-Acevedo, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES
    Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science
    Bio:
    Laura Almodóvar-Acevedo received a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. She's currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and is specializing in Ecology as part of the Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Science program. Her research focuses on black sea bass dynamics in the Chesapeake Bay. Under the advisement of Dr. Brad Stevens and Dr. Howard Townsend, she is working on a habitat suitability model to investigate if the historical decline in black sea bass landings is associated with a decrease in available habitat. The ultimate goal of their work is to develop an Estuarine Habitat Affinity Index that can be incorporated into a stock assessment model to explain some variability in black sea bass juvenile recruitment.

    Brittany KingBrittany King, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at OSU
    Brittany King is a first year Ph.D student at Oregon State University working in the human dimension of fisheries science lab. Brittany's primary research interests lie in diversity, equity and inclusion in marine and fisheries science. She is interested in exploring the barriers and opportunities for the inclusion and participation of African Americans, and communities of color. She earned a BS from Hampton University in Marine and Environmental Science in 2009 and a MESM in Environmental Science and Management, focusing on coastal marine resources management, from UC Santa Barbara in 2012. Brittany is from the SF Bay Area.

    Enid-MunozRuizEnid C. Muñoz Ruiz, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at UMES
    Aquatic Toxicology

    Enid graduated with a B.S. Degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2017. She is the newest addition to the Aquatic Toxicology program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Advised by Dr. Ahmed Elnabawi and Dr. Ali Ishaque, her research will encompass the consequences of microplastics in aquatic environments. Enid plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in this field and becoming an asset in Ecotoxicological Sciences. 

    AndrePrice-1André L. Price, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Master's Fellow at UMES
    Marine, Estuarine Environmental Science
    André received his B.S. in Marine Environmental Science, with a GIS minor, from Elizabeth City State University in 2015. He joined the LMRCSC in 2016 under the advisement of Dr. Brad Stevens and will be researching feeding dynamics of black sea bass. 

     

     

    Jorge-Rodriguez

    Jorge J. Rodriguez, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES
    Marine Estuarine Environmental Science
    Jorge J. Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. Prior to entering the Doctor of Philosophy program, he successfully completed a Master of Science degree in Food and Agricultural Sciences in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Currently he is a Ph.D. student at UMES in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences (MEES) program specializing in Environmental Molecular Biology/Biotechnology. His research focuses in host-pathogen interactions in the blue mussel. Under the advisement of Dr. Anthony K. Nyame and Dr. April Croxton he is investigating the potential role of glycans in host-pathogen interactions. The ultimate goal of their work is to establish molecular markers that can be used to assess the blue mussels susceptibility to infectivity by pathogens and how these markers may be affected by environmental stressors.


    Kasondra-RubacavaKasondra Rubalcava, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES
    Marine Estuarine Environmental Science 

    Kasondra is currently a first year Ph.D. student in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science Program at UMES and is advised by Dr. Paulinus Chigbu. She is interested in fisheries ecology and analyzing environmental parameters that affect various aspects of fish populations. She is an alumna of the REU in Marine and Estuarine Science at UMES, which she participated in during the summer of 2014. Kasondra received her bachelor's degree in marine biology with a minor in applied mathematics at Humboldt State University in Northern California in 2015.

    Schweitzer-CaraCara Schweitzer, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at UMES
    Marine Estuarine Environmental Science
    Cara received her B.S. in Biology at The University of Missouri - St. Louis. There she researched behavioral sexual selection in the live breeding fish, poecilia parae and the electrosensory pathway of the dorsal octavolateral nucleus (DON) within the paddlefish brain. Cara completed an M.S. in Biology at Washington University with an emphasis in circadian rhythms in mouse model. Currently, she has joined the MEES program at UMES. Her research aims to understand how habitat complexity and health influence fish abundance and recruitment within the Mid-Atlantic Bight by using sea whips as a health bio-indicator and black sea bass for abundance predictor. Cara is also investigating how the commercial trap fishing industry affects habitat integrity and juvenile abundance and survival. Her research is conducted under the supervision of Dr. Bradley Stevens.


    Adrianne-WilsonAdrianne Wilson, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Doctoral Fellow at RSMAS

    Adrianne Wilson received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from Northwestern University in 2014. In 2017, she successfully completed her Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Florida Mechanical and Agricultural University. Here she studied the population dynamics of larval fish in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami. She joined LMRCSC in 2017 under the advisement of Dr. Elizabeth Babcock and will continue researching fisheries. In the future, she hopes to work at an organization focused on the conservation of marine organisms.  

     

    Undergraduate Fellows

    Kendra-DorseyKendra Dorsey, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at HU
    Kendra Dorsey is a current junior at Hampton University. She will obtain a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Environmental Science in 2019. Over the summer, she was able to work with Dr. Andrij Horodysky researching the effects of ocean acidification on the vision and hearing in marine fish. She plans to further her research throughout her academic years on various marine environments. After graduation, Kendra plans to receive a master's in environmental science and find ways to build a solar filtration system to help improve water quality throughout the world. Kendra aspires to work with NOAA to find ways to mitigate marine problems globally.

     

    JanelleLaytonJanelle Layton, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at HU
    Janelle Layton is a Marine and Environmental Science major from Hampton University. She works with Dr. Indu Sharma and is looking at the enrichment and isolation of symbiotic microorganisms from sea squirts capable of metabolizing iodine from sea water in the Chesapeake Bay. Currently, she is interested in the natural history of coastal invertebrates

     



    Desmond LoveDesmond Love, NOAA EPP LMRCSC Undergraduate Fellow at UMES 
    Desmond is a freshman environmental science major with a concentration in marine biology at UMES. he is advised by Dr. Ali Ishaque and is an alumnus of the Geosciences Bridge Program at UMES.