GCFI 2017 Board of Directors. Missing: Michelle Scharer and Manoj Shivlani

Board of Directors

Martin Russell

Chair

Martin has been working for over 22 years on marine protected area and fisheries management in Australia’s oceans, including the Coral Sea Marine Park, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. He is currently Assistant Director with Parks Australia in the Australian Government Department of the Environment.

He is the Chair of Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (SCRFA), an NGO based in USA with projects in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean, and a global database of fish aggregations.

Martin has an applied science degree in fisheries, and has extensive research and management experience working on fish spawning aggregations, coral and reef fish. Martin has been an active participant in GCFI meetings since 2000, presenting papers on fish spawning aggregations, and moderating sessions and arranging social events. He has been a GCFI Board member since 2013.

Emma Doyle

Vice Chair

Emma is currently Vice Chair of GCFI and is in her second term as a GCFI board member. She joined GCFI’s board in 2013 at GCFI66 and was the founding chair of GCFI’s Communications Committee. Emma coordinates ‘MPAConnect’ – a learning network of 31 marine protected areas in 10 Caribbean countries and territories that is managed through a partnership between GCFI and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Emma is also Senior Advisor to the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) on marine protected areas and biodiversity monitoring, Technical Advisor on marine protected area management to Sustainable Grenadines Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of Ocean Spirits Inc. in Grenada. She has worked in international environmental cooperation and grant management in Latin America and the Caribbean for 15 years. Emma is Australian, she studied coastal zone management at Sydney University and has a Master of Science in environmental management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

LeRoy Creswell

Executive Secretary

LeRoy Creswell is a Sea Grant Marine Extension Regional Agent at the University of Florida. His extension responsibilities include education and outreach programs in fields related to marine resource utilization, including tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, coastal zone management. As a Florida Sea Grant agent Mr. Creswell assisted in the establishment of the St. Lucie County Marine Center, a collaborative project with the Smithsonian Institution and several public and private educational organization.

For over 17 years, Mr. Creswell was an associate research scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Inc. His research focused on the development of aquaculture technologies for tropical marine invertebrates, including bivalve and gastropod molluscs, and several species of crustaceans, such as the Caribbean spiny lobster. He also conducted studies on the larviculture and nutrition of ornamental marine fish and invertebrates. He holds two patents, a trademarked line of ornamental fish feeds, and has authored a book in the field of aquaculture.

Mr. Creswell served on the Board of Directors and was two-term president of the Caribbean Aquaculture Association, and editor of The Caribbean Aquaculturist for ten years. He was a Director of the World Aquaculture Society for 12 years and its president in 1995. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the National Shellfisheries Association and Past-president of NSA. He currently the Editor of the NSA quarterly newsletter and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Shellfish Research.

Mr. Creswell has been on the Board of Directors of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute for over 20 years.  For those two decades he has served as the Executive Secretary of GCFI and the Senior Editor of the GCFI Proceedings.

Mel Goodwin, PhD

Treasurer

Formally trained as a marine biologist, Dr. Goodwin is responsible for operations, program development, and implementation of a nonprofit information services organization devoted to sustainable development. Major activities include development of public information programs to communicate information on sustainable development issues and approaches, developing professional training programs in sustainable development for design and building professionals, incorporating sustainability principles into public school buildings and curricula, anddevelopment of neighborhood-based land use plans for the cities of Charleston and North Charleston. He worked for fifteen years as Projects Director on sustainable development initiatives in the Eastern Caribbean sponsored by public and private organizations including the Canadian International Development Agency, Caribbean Conservation Association, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Inter American Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, U. S. Agency for International Development, and World Wildlife Fund – U.S. Recent activities include authoring more than 100 outreach lesson plans for middle school and high school classes dealing with NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Program, National Ocean Service, and the Aquarius Project

Bob Glazer

Executive Director

Bob is the Principal Investigator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissions’ Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s queen conch research and restoration program in Marathon.  His research interests are in stock restoration, essential habitat, larval recruitment, endocrine disruption, marine fishery reserves, and stock structure.  He has worked extensively on molluscan aquaculture  for both commercial and restoration projects. In 1994 he received the first Florida Jaycees Outstanding Young Environmentalist award and in 2006 he was the first marine recipient of the Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Fishery Biologist of the Year.

Bob is also the Principal Investigator on a number of climate change adaptation projects. He developed the KeysMAP (Florida Keys Marine Adaptation Planning) program which uses scenarios to develop climate adaptation strategies, identifies triggerpoints for implementing the strategies, and develops monitoring program to identify when the triggerpoint is attained. He is the leader of the Florida FWC climate change Research and Monitoring workgroup. He also serves as the chair of the Monroe County Climate Change Advisory Committee whose objective is to make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on how best to adapt to a changing climate in the Florida Keys. In 2016 he received the Leadership Award Honorable Mention of the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy.

Directors

Alejandro Acosta

PhD

Alejandro works for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in Marathon. His interests include fish biology and community ecology, especially the relationships between habitat structure and the distribution and abundance of fishes. His work has examined tropical reef fisheries,community structure, and stock assessment of reef, mangrove and estuarine fishes. He is actively involved in an annual multi-species visual censuses and trawl surveys covering the ocean and bay waters of the Florida Keys. Previously he was in charge of developing a continuing fishery survey collection program for juvenile fish populations in Florida Bay.Alejendro is a previous Chairman of GCFI.

Fadilah Ali

Fadilah Ali is an ecologist with a specialty in invasive species biology, control and management. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, she received an M. Env. Sci. in Biodiversity and Conservation as well as an M. Phil in Ocean and Earth Science from the University of Southampton in England. During her time in Southampton she conducted research on biological indicators for water quality as well as the distribution and impact of marine debris on British coastlines and also designed an Environmental Management System for the Southampton City Council. Fadilah’s main specialty has been her research on the lionfish invasion within the Southern Caribbean with a focus on their feeding ecology. To date she has analysed the stomach contents of more than 12,000 lionfish and has conducted research in many islands throughout the Caribbean, with the majority taking place in Bonaire and Curacao. Fadilah especially enjoys education and outreach activities and has conducted numerous workshops with participants ranging in age < 5 to > 75 years old! Fadilah first became involved with GCFI in 2011 where she won the student award for best oral presentation and has since attended every meeting. She has served on the GCFI Board of Directors since 2014 and was appointed as the Chair for the Communications as well as the Sustainability Committees in 2017.

Alfonso Aguilar-Perera

PhD

Alfonso Aguilar-Perera is a marine science professor since 2006 with the Departamento de Recursos Marinos Tropicales of the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, in Mérida, Yucatán, México. He teaches Coastal Conservation and Management, Conservation of reef fishes, Marine protected areas design, and Science Communication. He received his MSc and Ph.D. from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, and he did a postdoc in UPRM supported by the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute. His research addresses the conservation biology of grouper (Epinephelidae) aggregations in the Mexican Caribbean, and recently in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, he investigates the invasion of the red lionfish off the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Southern Gulf of Mexico. He is member of the IUCN groupers and wrasses specialist group and the Science for Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations (SCRFA). He has been active member of the GCFI Students Award since 2009. For further information on his research and teaching interests see https://sites.google.com/site/aaguilarperera/

Dalila Aldana Aranda

PhD

Dalila Aldana Aranda is Profesor at CINVESTAV-IPN (Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional), a Research Center in Mexico. My research is mainly in nutrition, reproduction and aquaculture of marine Molluscs. I have been working extensively in conch of the genus Strombus (S. gigas, S. costatus, S. pugilis), also in an endemic conch from Yucatan Peninsula, and oyster Crassotrea virginica. I received my Ph.D. in Biology Oceanography and Aquaculture from University of West Bretagne, Brest, France, with Honorific Mention. In 1993, I received a second Ph. D. in populations Biology, at University de Marsella, France, receiving also an honorific mention. I have written over 70 scientific papers in my field, and I have produced 6 books of environmental education related to protect marine species. I have supervised 4 Ph. D., and 10 Master students. From 1997 to 2001, I coordinated the Iberoamerican Network of mollucs aquaculture from Iberoamerican Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED).  In 2002, I was chair-woman of the Marine Laboratories Association in the Caribbean. In 2006, the Institute of Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries nominated me as their chair person, becoming the first woman in this Institute that received this nomination.  Since June 2008, I am chair-woman of the Mexican Academy of Science (Southeast).

Nancy Brown-Peterson

Nancy Brown-Peterson is a Research Scientist Emeritus in the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  Her primary research interest centers around the reproductive biology of fishes, and involves investigations of spawning seasons, fecundity and spawning frequency of important recreational species in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean such as Spotted Seatrout, Cobia, Tripletail, Wahoo, Blue Marlin, Sheepshead, Lionfish and Red Snapper. Nancy has been instrumental in organizing several Gonadal Histology Workshops, and is a driving force behind ongoing efforts to standardize reproductive terminology. Recently, Nancy has been involved with a reef fish project assessing Red Snapper reproduction in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. She has over 95 publications from more than 30 years of research along the Gulf of Mexico. A list of selected publications can be found at here.

Nancy was a co-organizer of the 53rd GCFI conference in Biloxi, MS and co-chair of the Large Pelagic Fishes Symposium held at the 59th GCFI.  She has been an active member of the GCFI Student Awards Committee since 2001 and served as Chair of the committee from 2005-2015. Nancy served as Vice-Chair of GCFI from 2013-2015 and Chair from 2015-2017.

Emma Doyle

Emma works on GCFI’s support to marine protected areas in the Caribbean region. She assisted the CaMPAM network from 2008 until 2012 and since then has focused on delivering GCFI and NOAA CRCP’s support to build management capacity among the marine protected areas that participated in the CaMPAM MPA Management Capacity Assessment. Emma is also Senior Advisor to the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) on marine protected areas and biodiversity monitoring. She has worked in international environmental cooperation and grant management in Latin America and the Caribbean for some 15 years. Emma is Australian, she studied coastal zone management at Sydney University and has a Master of Science in environmental management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Charlotte Dromard

Charlotte is a research associate at the University Antilles-Guyane in Guadeloupe. In collaboration with Ifremer in Martinique, she works on the contamination of fishes and crustaceans by pesticides in the Lesser Antilles. She studies the transfer of molecules of pesticides along marine food webs, in mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reef ecosystems. Her interests are also the food partitioning among herbivorous fishes and their role in the algal regulation on coral reefs. She used to study the trophic niches of Scaridae and Acanthuridae during her PhD, achieved in 2013. She teaches biogeography, animal physiology and marine ecology at the University Antille-Guyane since 2009. She participates to the GCFI since 2008 and she is member of the board of director since the 67th GCFI in 2014.

Luis Orlando Duarte

PhD

Luis Orlando has been a Lecturer and Research Scientist since 2006 at the University of Magdalena (Colombia). His research interests include ecosystem modelling, marine ecology, fisheries management and small-scale fisheries. He teaches Ecological Modelling, Aquatic Ecology, Limnology and Academic Writing. After his graduation from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (Colombia) with a degree in Marine Biology, he has been involved in more than 30 scientific projects (14 of them as Principal Investigator) carried out (coordinated) in Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Germany, Chile, Denmark and Peru, studying topics like impacts of fishing on aquatic ecosystems, bottom trawl by-catch reduction approaches, temporal and spatial variability of structure and functional diversity in fish communities, trophic ecology, ecological indicators for fisheries management, participatory management in small-scale fisheries. As a result, he has published over 50 items, including scientific papers, books and book chapters. For further information on his research see https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Luis_Orlando_Duarte.

Frédérique Fardin

Formerly trained as an ecologist, specialized in Biodiversity of Tropical Ecosystems and in Social Sciences applied to the Management of Natural Resources, Frédérique Fardin is currently working at the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), on the development of biodiversity strategies for the Caribbean territories, climate change issues in fisheries, and generally within the participatory management of natural resources, especially coastal and marine.

In her previous role as a project officer at the Regional Activity Center for the SPAW Protocol (SPAW-RAC) under the aegis of UN Environment – CEP (Caribbean Environment Programme), Frédérique was focused on coastal and marine ecosystems conservation (e.g. mangroves, marine mammal sanctuaries), as well as coordinated research and management initiatives on the Sargassum landings issue, enhancing collaborations on both a regional and global scale.

As part of the Board of Directors of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Frédérique is advocating for gender equity in Fisheries and assisting the communication team. She is also the chair of the educational ad-hoc committee where she is developing environmental education activities for youth and children.

Graciela Garcia-Moliner

PhD

Graciela García-Moliner has been a scientist with the Caribbean Fishery Management Council (http://www.caribbeanfmc.com) in Puerto Rico for the past 25 years. Graciela works with fishers, government officials and scientists to develop management plans for the fishery resources of the US Caribbean. She helps coordinate the biological, environmental, social and economic information that is used to evaluate the fisheries and interacts with managers to develop fishery management strategies. Fisheries interests include: deep water snappers and fish in general, recreational fisheries and boating, oceanographic features (eddies and fronts) and their impacts on fisheries, fish spawning aggregations and sex changing fish. Her interest in remote sensing include the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to characterize and assess deeper water fish and coral communities and the use of satellite data to assess oceanographic features and changes in chlorophyll-a patterns in the surface waters. Graciela has a long history of service to GCFI, including Board membership from 1995 through 2015, serving as Chair of GCFI from 2013 – 2015, and returning Board member in 2017. She is a member of various work groups such as Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program-Reef Resources Work Group (SEAMAP-Caribbean; http://www.seamap.org/ ), the Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System for the Caribbean and the Regional Association for the Caribbean (CariCOOS; https://www.caricoos.org/board-of-directors ), among others.

Mark Peterson

PhD

Mark S. Peterson is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Coastal Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to coming to USM he was faculty at Mississippi State University for 6 yrs and a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Florida. At USM, Mark taught Coastal Processes II, Ecology of Fishes, Ichthyology, and Topics in Fisheries Ecology and has developed a research program on resource ecology where he and his students study fish-habitat relationships, eco-physiology of living in coastal ecosystems, landscape restoration, invasive species, and life-history of fishes. Current research uses acoustic telemetry to understand better the ecology and conservation of threatened Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Mark, his students, and colleagues have published extensively on these topics with 137 publications to date. Mark has been Editor-in-Chief, Gulf and Caribbean Research (https://aquila.usm.edu/gcr/) since 1996 which has recently partnered with GCFI in 2017, is an Associate Editor for Estuaries and Coasts (2017-present), and is on the Editorial Board of CICIMAR Oceánides, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, LaPaz, B.C.S., México (2010-present).  Mark has served as an elected members of the Board of Governors of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and has served the Mississippi Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Gulf and Estuarine Research Society, and the Southeastern Division of American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists as President. Mark was a co-organizer of the 53rd GCFI conference in Biloxi, MS and co-chair of the Large Pelagic Fishes Symposium held at the 59th GCFI.  Mark has been an active member of the GCFI Publication Committee (2000-2017), Student Activities Committee (travel awards, judging & silent auction; November 2000-present), Strategic Plan, and Succession Plan committees (member, November 2002-2017), Operations Manual Committee (Chair, November 2015-present), and EXCOM (2016-17).

Joanna Pitt

PhD

Joanna is the Marine Resources Officer for the Bermuda Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, a post she has held since 2008. Prior to that, she worked at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), formerly the Bermuda Biological Station for Research. Her research experience has covered everything from the ecology and health of seagrasses, mangroves and corals (including contributing to the CariCoMP Program / GCRMN) to the biology, ecology and management of both coral reef and pelagic fishes, as well as assessments of marine protected areas and the recreational fishery in Bermuda. In addition to working on topics relevant to the development of management plans for various local commercial fishery species, her recent reaserch has focused on the dynamics and management of grouper spawning aggregations and the biology, ecology and control of the invasive lionfish in Bermuda. A native Bermudian, Joanna has a B.Sc. from Southampton University in the U.K., and a Ph.D. from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.

Brice Semmens

PhD

Brice Semmens is an Associate Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining the faculty at Scripps, Brice was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Brice’s research centers on fisheries science and quantitative tools in fisheries and conservation. He is currently the Director of the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), and a co-PI for the Center for the Advancement of Population Assessment Methodologies (CAPAM). In the Caribbean, Brice coordinates the Grouper Moon Project, a cooperative long-term spawning aggregation monitoring program in the Cayman Islands, jointly run by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (CIDOE).  Brice joined the GCFI Board of Directors in 2015 and has been involved with GCFI since 2003 (when he won a student presentation award), and gave the keynote address for the 69th GCFI Cayman Islands conference in 2016.

Michelle Schärer

PhD

Michelle Schärer-Umpierre is a marine biologist with expertise in fisheries science. Her specific areas of interest include fish spawning aggregations, marine ecosystems, endangered species and passive acoustic research. Dr. Schärer graduated from the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico with a PhD in Biological Oceanography and an MS in Biology. During the last decades she has led multiple scientific research for local and federal resources agencies in Puerto Rico as wells as within academia. Many projects have been designed through non-governmental organizations such as debris assessment and removal, marine protected area compliance as well as education and outreach. Some results of research projects include a review of marine protected areas for fisheries in the US Caribbean, the evaluation and management of fish spawning aggregations, fisheries-independent sampling of deep-water snappers and groupers, an assessment of the social-ecological system of La Parguera, the description of novel techniques to assess spawning aggregations of grouper with passive acoustic signals, global fin print shark and ray study, coral reef monitoring, the landscape ecology of marine habitats and their importance for fish connectivity, characterizations of critical habitats and essential fish habitat for commercially important species, and developing biological criteria to determine coral reef condition in the Caribbean. She has been involved in fieldwork directly conducting multiple dives at research sites with a variety of colleagues. Her experience in the development of artisanal fisheries in Brazil and Puerto Rico has led to a better understanding of the sustainability needs in order to harvest stocks of important marine resources. A member of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute since 2001 (54th conference in the Turks and Caicos Islands) she has been involved as a student, presenter and now as a board member.

Manoj Shivlani

PhD

Manoj Shivlani is the program manager for the Center for Independent Experts (CIE), which has been organizing and conducting independent peer reviews of NOAA Fisheries assessments and programs since 1998. He holds a PhD from Florida International University, where he did his dissertation work on long-term changes in Florida Keys commercial fishing communities, and a master’s degree in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami. His research interests are in the human dimensions of coastal and marine management, especially in fisheries, tourism, and marine protected areas. Shivlani has conducted research in the western Atlantic and Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South Atlantic, including the development of the Bahamas spiny lobster fishery management plan, fisheries costs and returns studies in the US Caribbean, socioeconomic valuation of marine protected areas and fishery spawning closures in Puerto Rico, a commercial fisher characterization study towards the development of the Dry Tortugas Ecological Reserve, central Florida red snapper fisher surveys on social networks, long-term monitoring of commercial fishery uses in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a characterization of Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative area stakeholders, and evaluation of water quality perceptions of Biscayne Bay.

Shivlani’s teaching experience at the Division of Marine Ecosystems and Society (MES) at the University of Miami includes graduate seminars in ocean policy, marine scientific methods, international ocean law, and marine protected areas theory and management.

Alexander Tewfik

PhD

Alexander Tewfik is a broadly trained marine ecologist with experience investigating tropical seagrass, sandy beach and coral reef systems as well as working with coastal fisheries and dependent communities in the Central Western Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. His primary research interests lie in understanding how natural and anthropogenic disturbances impact community structure and trophic dynamics. Such efforts arguably lie at the centre of ecological research and seemingly provide the most fertile area for exploring the critical links between biodiversity, functionality and persistence of ecosystems in the wake of disturbance. Such research also leads to a wide-ranging discussion of ecological thresholds, tipping points and “alternate” states that may emerge as a consequence of disturbance. However, the ultimate purpose of his research, teaching and project leadership efforts has always been to assist with the sustainable management and conservation of marine ecosystems and, perhaps most importantly, the ecosystem services on which existing and future generations of humankind depend.

Ruben Torres

PhD

Ruben Torres holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Miami and a B.Sc. in Biology at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. He is the regional coordinator for Reef Check International, and is the Founder and President of Reef Check Dominican Republic. He is also the Founder and CEO of Torres Environmental Consultanting (TEC UNLIMITED), a member of the Committee on International lionfish Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and the Global Network of Coral Reef Monitoring (GCRMN) and Mentor of the Caribbean Marine Protected Area Managers Network (CaMPAM) of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Locally, Dr. Torres is an Environmental consultant and a certified PADI diving instructor and also manages La Caleta Marine Protected Area.

Henri Vallés

PhD

Henri has spent most of his adult life associated, in various degrees, with universities of the Caribbean, Spain and Canada. His strong interest in the natural sciences led him to pursue a BSc in Biology at the University of Oviedo (Spain), an MSc in Natural Resource Management at the University of the West Indies (Barbados) and a PhD in Biology at McGill University (Canada). A few years ago Henri worked as a technical advisor to the Haitian government in issues pertaining to the development of fisheries and he is now a full-time Lecturer in Ecology at the University of the West Indies (Barbados) and an associate researcher within the FORCE project. As part of this diverse background, Henri is fluent in Spanish, French, English and Haitian creole. His post-graduate work focused on investigating settlement and post-settlement dynamics of coral reef fishes and in improving the methods we use to study the transition that most reef organisms make when moving from the open sea as larvae to the reef. Although still very much interested on issues pertaining to the population dynamics of reef organisms, Henri’s main line of research over the past few years has steered toward issues more directly related to improving the management of coral reef resources. He is currently working on the identification and development of simple indicators of the status of reef fish communities for ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Caribbean.

Pieter van Baren