Current Graduate Fellows

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Maryland Sea Grant Research Fellowship

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Fellowship at:

Morgan State University, Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory

Project Title:

Development of Triploid and Tetraploid Eastern Oysters for Maryland Aquaculture

Cool Facts:

Shivish Bhandari is a graduate student in the Bioenvironmental Science Ph.D. program at Morgan State University studying environment-genome interaction in Eastern oysters. Outside of his studies, Shivish enjoys traveling, bird watching, and photography.
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Fellowship at:

Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Advancing Monitoring and Management of Mid-Atlantic Alosine Fishes with eDNA Analysis

Cool Facts:

Chelsea Fowler is a master’s student in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science graduate program. Her research seeks to investigate how population monitoring techniques using environmental DNA (eDNA) compare to traditional fish count assessments in river herring populations.
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Fellowship at:

University of Maryland, College Park

Project Title:

What Happens After the Phragmites Is Killed? The Role of Native Plantings in Accelerating Post-treatment Recovery of Tidal Wetlands

Cool Facts:

Sylvia Jacobson studies native plant restoration in tidal wetlands dominated by the invasive plant Phragmites australis (common reed). In her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing music, and reading.
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Fellowship at:

University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Geology

Project Title:

Assessing the Impact of Freshwater Salinization Syndrome on Mobilization of Nutrients and Metals in Urban Streams and Rivers

Cool Facts:

Carly Maas is a Ph.D. student studying the impacts of salinization on urban streams. In her free time, Carly enjoys running, traveling, and watching the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team.
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Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Evaluating Consequences of Alternative Harvest Policies for Atlantic Menhaden and the Impacts on their Predator Atlantic Striped Bass

Cool Facts:

Samantha Schiano is a master’s student studying the impact of harvest control rules on the Atlantic striped bass fishery. Outside of science, she enjoys running, drawing, cooking, and baking.
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Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Quantifying Nitrogen Removal Potential in Oyster Reefs Versus Aquaculture in Response to Hydrodynamic Setting and Water Quality

Cool Facts:

Stefenie is a master’s student studying at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science program. Her work is aimed at modeling the ecological, chemical, and physical aspects of restored oyster reefs. She is equally as interested in environmental education as she is marine science.

NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowships

Reed Brodnik

Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Impacts of Misspecification of Spatial Structure of Assessment and Stock on Reliability of Reference Points

Cool Facts:

Reed is studying the population dynamics of black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in the Mid-Atlantic Bight region of the Atlantic seaboard. In his free time, Reed enjoys kayaking, fishing, and crabbing in the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay. 
Samara Nehemiah

Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Evaluating the Performance of Spatially Explicit Population Models to Estimate Abundance of Chesapeake Bay Fishes

Cool Facts:

Samara Nehemiah a Ph.D. student at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She is developing new statistical methods to estimate spatially explicit population estimates of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.

Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship

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Fellowship at:

NOAA Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs

Cool Facts:

Amber Fandel researched the presence and behaviors of marine mammals using sound. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing music, and hiking and paddle boarding with her dog.
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Fellowship at:

NOAA National Ocean Service, Marine Debris Program

Cool Facts:

Benjamin is working as a Marine Debris Program Specialist in NOAA’s Marine Debris Program with a focus on derelict fishing gear. In his free time, Ben enjoys playing video games with friends, reading fantasy novels, hiking with his dog, and cooking.
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Fellowship at:

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Cool Facts:

Sergio is an Ocean Energy Environmental Science & Policy Fellow at BOEM. In this role, he supports the development of best practices related to environmental, climate, and economic justice to further the understanding of the potential impacts of ocean energy projects on low-income, minority, and indigenous communities. Sergio likes to play the saxophone, play soccer, rock climb, and dance in his free time.
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Fellowship at:

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Natural Resources; Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife

Cool Facts:

Morgan McCue is a Legislative Fellow in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources; Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife where she works as a professional staff member. In her free time, you can find her spending time with family, doing anything outdoors, reading, listening to podcasts, and visiting her favorite national parks!
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Fellowship at:

NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

Cool Facts:

Nikelene is serving as the GEO Blue Planet Policy fellow in the Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division of NOAA NESDIS/STAR. She enjoys taking long runs along the coast, snorkeling and hiking coastal trails. She is very fond of traveling, experiencing different cultures and learning new languages.
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Fellowship at:

NOAA OAR Climate Program Office

Cool Facts:

Andrea Miralles-Barboza is an International Climate Fellow in NOAAs Climate Program Office. In this role and in her future work she hopes to contribute to more community-driven approaches to coastal adaptation in a world increasingly and unevenly shaped by climate change. In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with loved ones, candle-making, true-crime content in all its formats (podcasts, books, documentaries, etc.), kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay and searching for the perfect latte.
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Fellowship at:

The White House Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality

Cool Facts:

Brendan works with the Council on Environmental Quality’s Conservation Team and supports their water portfolio, which includes issues covering freshwater, marine and coastal environments. He is an avid cyclist and runner who grew up living on a sailboat in Seattle with his parents and two brothers. 
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Fellowship at:

NOAA National Sea Grant Office, NOAA, Office of Education

Cool Facts:

Ana is an Education Policy Integration Fellow working with the National Sea Grant and the NOAA Office of Education. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery books, spending time outside, trying new restaurants and learning new crafts.

Graduate Research Support Grants

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Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Ecological and Environmental Implications of Sea Level Rise on Shallow Methane-gas in the Patuxent River Estuary

Cool Facts:

Drew Hobbs is a Ph.D. student researching methane distribution, emissions, and consumption processes in coastal and estuarine systems like Chesapeake Bay. In his spare time, Drew likes to exercise, kayak, play video, craft, and keep up to speed with comic books and films.
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Fellowship at:

Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Understanding Molecular, Energetic and Physiological Responses of Crassostrea virginica to Aerial Desiccation Regimes

Cool Facts:

Shannon Hood is examining potential drivers of a growth penalty that is often observed among oysters which regularly undergo desiccation, a management practice which has been successful in controlling biofouling on oyster farms. She also enjoys traveling and exploring new places.
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Fellowship at:

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Project Title:

Developing Technologies to Produce Sterile Diploid Oysters Without Chromosome Set Manipulation

Cool Facts:

Lan Xu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He works with Dr. Ten-Tsao Wong at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. His research involves developing technologies to produce infertile animals for aquaculture purposes. He seeks to induce reproductive sterility in diploid eastern oysters as an alternative of triploidization to promote sustainable shellfish aquaculture.
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Fellowship at:

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University System of Maryland

Project Title:

Interstate Blue Crab Transportation and the Risk of Introducing Novel Viruses into the Chesapeake Bay Crab Fishery

Cool Facts:

Mingli is a Ph.D. candidate in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She works on viral diseases of blue crab-Callinectes sapidus. Outside of research, she enjoys traveling, reading detective novels and watching movies.

Competitive Graduate Research Fellowship

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Fellowship at:

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Project Title:

Susceptibility of Shellfish Aquaculture Species in the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays to the Ostreid Herpesvirus (OsHV-1) and Potential Management Strategies

Cool Facts:

Mariah Kachmar is a master’s student in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her work seeks to determine the susceptibility of economically and ecologically important Maryland shellfish species to a virus.
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Fellowship at:

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Project Title:

Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to Value Shallow Water Ecosystem Services in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay

Cool Facts:

Megan is a master’s student studying policy options of user conflicts in Chesapeake Bay. Outside of research, she loves to cook, garden, and volunteer, regularly organizing around climate change issues.

The Blue Crab: Callinectes Sapidus

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